As special protections urged for remote communities, Aboriginal health workers call for full scope of practice by NATSIHWA CEO, Karl Briscoe

Introduction by Croakey: As unprecedented measures are stepped up across Australia to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, a group of medical professionals on Monday published an open letter to Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, calling for targeted measures to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The letter, which has been signed by more than two dozen prominent doctors and other medical professionals including Dr Kris Rallah-Baker, Australia’s first and only Aboriginal ophthalmologist and head of the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association, urges Wyatt to “do whatever is necessary to empower” Indigenous people and communities to protect themselves from the COVID outbreak. The letter’s lead author is Melbourne GP Dr Margaret Beavis, who has an interest in public health and nuclear issues and is secretary of the Medical Association for the Prevention of War (Australia).

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