A healthy start for Indigenous children should be a priority for any Federal Government according to the AMA.
The peak medical association has called for increased efforts to improve the health of Indigenous children.
AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said evidence showed the importance of a good start in life for future health, and improved early childhood development among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples needed to be a policy priority for the Federal Government.
“Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are growing up in circumstances that are no better than those experienced in Third World countries, rather than a wealthy nation such as ours,” Dr Hambleton said.
“This can set them up for a lifetime of poor health that costs them, their families and the broader community dearly.
“The Federal Government needs to show foresight in heading these problems off before they develop by investing in a healthy start for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.”
Dr Hambleton said the AMA would like to see the Government to develop a stronger and more sustained focus on early childhood development programs that had been shown to work.
He said the AMA was playing its role by sponsoring research to identify where the developmental needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were greatest, and recommend measures to achieve improvement.
The results of the AMA research will be included in a report to to be released later this year.