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Indigenous health funding needs increase: AMA

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 1 October 2004

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has urged the major political parties to put more money into Indigenous health, even though it may not see an increase in votes.

The call comes after the release of a major study into mortality rates in the Northern Territory over a 40 year period.

It found while the overall rate had fallen, the death rate from chronic diseases such as diabetes had not changed.

Robyn Cahill from the AMA's Territory branch says the major parties are only committing about 25 per cent of the money that is needed for Indigenous health and prevention programs.

"That's the political reality, the Indigenous community in our country is a small part of our population when you look at the overall population and we all know that when it comes to election promises and electioneering that ultimately votes are what counts," she said.

"Unless we can actually make it a voting issue it's often very difficult to get the funding into those areas."

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