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12 Nov 2019

Disruptive Innovations in Health Care was the theme of this year’s Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) Conference, held in Darwin on October 3.

AMA President Dr Tony Bartone was a keynote speaker and talked about the importance of harnessing such innovation.

“As a General Practitioner who has been practising medicine for over 30 years, I well and truly understand that innovative health care is needed to achieve improved outcomes for patients,” Dr Bartone said.

“Indeed, innovation will be crucial as we deal with a health system that is so under strain.

“This is especially true for Indigenous health, given the much higher burden of disease and mortality rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the need for care to be delivered in a manner that is culturally safe.

“We all know that Indigenous health statistics paint a bleak picture. And we all know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have poorer health than other Australians.

“Medical science is constantly evolving and we have, only in recent times, recognised the innovations and practices of Indigenous people here and overseas…

“Sadly, investments in Indigenous health are often inadequate, and they are implemented without proper engagement with, and direction by, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“We all know that this approach does not work. However, I know that there are many innovative health services that are delivering high quality health care for their communities, driven by local leadership.

“There are models of health care that are delivering proved health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and these should be supported in terms of funding and workforce.”


Dr Bartone’s full address can be found at:

CAPTION: Dr Bartone (seated centre) watches Dr Jessica King deliver the Welcome to Country at the AIDA Conference in Darwin. Also seated (L-R) are Professor Shannon Springer, Dr Olga Havnen, Marion Scrymgour, AIDA President Dr Kris Rallah-Baker, and conference MC Jeff McMullen.

Published: 12 Nov 2019