A Maningrida doctor has strongly criticised child health checks taking part under the Howard/Brough NT intervention. Maningrida is an aboriginal community of more than 2,500 people in Arnhem Land.
Paul Burgess says the checks, part of the Federal Government's intervention into Indigenous child sex abuse, are being carried out by inexperienced doctors who know little about Aboriginal issues.
"I doubt that we're going to find many cases [of child sexual abuse] with the current procedure," he said.
"The best way to provide health care for children is to adequately resource primary health care teams within communities." (ABC News Radio Fri Aug 31, 2007)
He said that the women and children who spoke to the Little Children are Sacred Inquiry are being letdown.
Maningrida has a Health clinic of which they are proud and an active Health Board. During our 4 years there, they faced chronic shortages and high turnover of doctors. This was a direct result of the health policies of the coalition which would not accept until recently that Australia has had chronic skill shortages across the spectrum. Let's hope that the commitment to aboriginal health will not wane after the election.
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