Madder and badder than the 15th

Sunday, 15 May 2005

Well that should fix the problem!

Tony Abbott says the Government has doubled spending on Indigenous health since 1996. (File photo)

Eat right and exercise, Abbott tells Indigenous people
Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott has advised Indigenous people to "eat better and exercise more" to improve their health.

Speaking about the $170 million in new Indigenous health spending in this week's Budget, Mr Abbott said the key to Aboriginal health was the same as for non-Indigenous Australians.

He says the new funding doubles spending on Indigenous health since 1996.

"It doesn't matter who you are and where you're living, you can always make the conscious decision to eat better and exercise more," Mr Abbott said.

Mr Abbott says there are signs the Government's commitment is starting to work, with deaths from trauma injuries and communicable diseases down in the Northern Territory.

But Aboriginal community development worker Richard Trudgen says it is hard for Aboriginal people to make smart health decisions when they are struggling with unemployment and entrenched social problems, and when they do not understand basic health principles.

"If you've got no purpose to live, you've got nothing to get out there and go for," Mr Trudgen said.

He says Mr Abbott's comments show he does not understand the reality of life in Aboriginal communities.

"From him sitting in his position in Canberra that's probably what most of his advisers would even be saying to him because they know little better," he said.

"It's not just Government ministers at the top, it's those who're even in Aboriginal organisations and Aboriginal health organisations who don't really know the true picture right on the ground."

He says some communities in Arnhem Land are giving canned fizzy drinks to children as baby food because they believe it's "superfood for white fellas".

Mr Trudgen says solutions need to target those kinds of knowledge gaps.


At 18 August, 2005 14:03, Blogger Foilwoman said...

How did I fail to see this blog before? Your Holiness, my apologies.


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