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AMA slams major parties over Indigenous health

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on September 2004

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says Indigenous health standards will continue to be as poor as some third world countries, because the nation's major political parties are not serious about fixing the problem.

AMA spokesman David Meadows says Labor and the Coalition are only interested in drip-feeding remote communities when it comes to health delivery.

Mr Meadows says the Coalition's commitment of $10 million a year towards Indigenous health is shameful.

"The Government have a huge surplus, which its prepared to throw obscene amounts of money into buying votes on Medicare in the tunes of billions of dollars," he said.

"Yet here we have a solution for Aboriginal health, which has been fully worked up and fully costed at about $450 million, and they are not even prepared to go even a tenth of the cost towards that," he said.

The AMA's recent report "Healing Hands: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Requirements" estimates a funding figure of $1.6 billion over four years is needed to address health standards in Indigenous communities.

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