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'Apartheid' at Australian Hospitals Criticized

by VR Sreeraman on June 5, 2010 at 3:26 PM
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 'Apartheid' at Australian Hospitals Criticized

An apartheid-style practice of separate entrances for indigenous people at some Australian hospitals has drawn criticism from a United Nations investigator.

Anand Grover, the UN's special rapporteur on health, has raised the issue of dividing screens at hospital entrances in a report critical of the Northern Territory intervention and indigenous health performance.

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"I think it is very serious because it reminds me of apartheid," he told The Age.

He said he had been told that hospital authorities "reinforced stereotypes and prejudice ... by installing screens and walkways to allow non-indigenous people to access hospitals without seeing indigenous families sitting at the entrance".

A spokeswoman for the federal Department of Health said hospitals were subject to anti-discrimination laws like any other institution.

Grover stood by his statements yesterday, but would not identify his source nor any hospitals with separate entrances.

Source: ANI
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