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Australian Medical Association endorses Uluru Statement on Indigenous constitutional change

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is vowing to push for Indigenous constitutional change after endorsing the Uluru Statement.


The powerful doctors lobby declared it would get on the "front foot" during any referendum campaign, raising the prospect of "yes" materials appearing in GPs' surgeries across the nation.

"It was a fairly clear-cut decision for us to make," newly-installed AMA president Tony Bartone told the ABC.

Hundreds of delegates at Uluru last May called for a permanent Indigenous advisory body to be enshrined in the constitution.

The gathering summit, which followed six-months of consultations, also proposed a Makarrata Commission to oversee a truth-telling process and treaties with First Nations groups.

"They're fairly fundamental aspirations that are part of the Uluru Statement," Dr Bartone said.

"We can't really seek to close the gap when it come to health outcomes until we address the fundamental building blocks."

He said the Uluru plan could improve "the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age", leading to better health outcomes.

Doctors to campaign 'in a surgery environment'
Dr Bartone, a Melbourne-based general practitioner, said the AMA would use "all avenues open to us" to advocate for change, including to "the wider community [and] patients who come to our surgeries".

More than 40,000 medical professionals and students are members of the AMA.

"[Some medical professionals] would be wanting to participate to even perhaps a fuller extent, which would lead to [the] putting up of posters and sharing that material in a surgery environment," Dr Bartone said.

The Federal Coalition has rejected the inclusion of a First Nations assembly in the nation's founding document, while Labor supports the idea.

The Government has not ruled out the summit's other proposals, and a parliamentary committee is currently examining other options for constitutional change.
Australian Medical Association endorses Uluru Statement on Indigenous constitutional change Reviewed by Kelechi O on 21:12 Rating: 5

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