The AMA welcomes the Federal Government's measures to address Indigenous child abuse, initially in the Northern Territory, and accepts the Prime Minister's invitation for the AMA to play the key role in addressing this 'national emergency'.
AMA President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, said today that the AMA is seeking a briefing from the Prime Minister's office and the Health Minister on the detail of the proposals so work can commence as soon as practicable.
"We have an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of Indigenous Australians with this initiative," Dr Capolingua said.
"This has raised Indigenous health to Prime Ministerial level with a focus to get it right.
"With Government support, the AMA will help to facilitate attracting the doctors that are needed to ensure this initiative will enable Indigenous children to have access to high quality primary health care.
"We will endeavour to get the doctors into the Territory and provide them with the right training and the cultural and social awareness to work in partnership with the communities.
"There must be recognition of proper remuneration for the doctors and flexibility of working conditions to allow them to work in remote areas.
"The AMA will work cooperatively with Indigenous community leaders to deliver better health services.
"It is our goal to put in place a quality health checks program and comprehensive primary care services that the Indigenous community will want to access.
"It will be a program that will encourage the people to bring their children to visit doctors.
"We will work with community elders and families to eliminate child abuse and improve overall health.
"This initiative is an important step in closing the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
"The AMA will seek cooperation between all levels of government, and between all agencies involved in delivering health and social services to the Indigenous communities.
"This is potentially a landmark opportunity, and the AMA will approach this challenge sensitively in partnership with Indigenous Australians," Dr Capolingua said.