The National Justice Project is calling for sustained action to end Australia’s rampant and widespread discrimination in the delivery of health services today on #IHMayDay.
#IHMayDay – 17 May 2017, standing for Indigenous Health MayDay – is an annual Twitter event, which provides a full-day of programming with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people tweeting about Indigenous health issues. The event is the brainchild of James Cook University Nursing, Midwifery and Research academic, Dr Lynore Geia, a Bwgcolman woman from Palm Island.
Principal Solicitor at the National Justice Project George Newhouse said #IHMayDay was a perfect opportunity to shine a light onto the shocking patterns of discrimination against Aboriginal people in the health system particularly in unequal access to medical treatment.
“Many of our clients have asked us to take action to remedy systemic failures to ensure that no one else has to experience poor health outcomes and discrimination”, he said. “In addition, there is evidence dating back to the pioneering work of the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody whch highlights the grave and systemic problem of Aboriginal people experiencing racism in the Australian health system.”
We at the National Justice Project have set up an Aboriginal Health Justice Project to increase access to justice for Aboriginal people who experience racism and negligence in the health system.
Professor Newhouse continued, “Today, on Indigenous Health May Day we should rightly look at improving access to proper first-world health care for Indigenous Australians. But I’m also deeply concerned about the many cases in hospitals, particularly in Western Australia and in the Northern Territory, where there have been terrible outcomes for Aboriginal Australians based on false assumptions made by health professionals that they must be under the influence of drugs and alcohol when in fact they are suffering from acute pain.”
“The National Justice Project will hold these people accountable. We seek justice and in that way we will get better health outcomes for all Australians.”