Indigenous people being encouraged to become health carers

13 October, 2009

The Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery, Warren Snowdon was in Brisbane recently at the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association’s (AIDA) Annual Symposium to launch the new AIDA publication – ‘Journeys into Medicine’.

The book is a collection of stories from both Indigenous doctors and medical students speaking about their experiences, challenges and triumphs in becoming and being an Indigenous doctor.

Launching the publication, Minister Snowdon said ‘Journeys into Medicine’ is for anyone with an interest in learning about Australia’s growing number of Indigenous medical students and doctors.

“Journeys into Medicine is a book for everyone; be it those who have considered or might consider a career in medicine, students studying at medical school, or anyone working in partnership with Indigenous doctors within the health sector,” Minister Snowdon said.

“I commend AIDA’s initiative in producing this publication and their positive support and mentorship of Indigenous students and doctors throughout Australia.”

Minister Snowdon said improving the capacity of the Indigenous health workforce is a critical component of the Government’s commitment to close the gap in Indigenous life expectancy.

Through COAG, the Rudd Government is spending $171 million for new Indigenous Outreach Workers, health professionals, expanded nurse scholarship and clinical placements, and 38 new GP registrar training places in Indigenous health services

“Increasing the number of Indigenous doctors in Australia helps underpin a workforce able to provide sustainable services to Indigenous Australians,” he said.

“AIDA’s active leadership, and support for Indigenous doctors going into urban, rural and remote environments plays a significant role in encouraging more Indigenous Australians into medicine.”

AIDA is a representative body for Indigenous doctors and medical students, striving for excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, well-being and life outcomes through leadership, partnership and scholarship and in the spirit of cultural integrity.

AIDA provides advice to Commonwealth, State/Territory, national and international policy bodies on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, education and workforce issues and maintains strong working partnerships with Australian medical schools, colleges and education organisations.