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24 Apr 2015

AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, will today officiate at a special ceremony at Canakkale, Turkey, to pay tribute to the doctors and other health workers who cared for the injured and dying from all sides at the Gallipoli landing 100 years ago.

The Turkish Medical Association invited representatives from the Australian Medical Association (AMA), New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA), and the World Medical Association (WMA) to commemorate Gallipoli, honour the ANZAC spirit, and send a strong message of peace and friendship.

A/Prof Owler and NZMA Chair, Dr Mark Peterson, are representing the ANZAC nations, and will make presentations on the important role of doctors in the conflict.

A/Prof Owler said Gallipoli was a significant event in our history, and there were great sacrifices made on all sides.

“Doctors and nurses provided vital care for the wounded and dying in terrible conditions,” A/Prof Owler said.

“It was before antibiotics and many of the medical resources that we take for granted today.

“Casualties were heavy right from the start. In the first four days of the campaign, 3300 wounded passed through the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station.

“In the first five weeks of the campaign, more than 20,000 wounded were taken to Alexandria.

“By the end of the campaign, Australian fatalities totalled 8709, and more than 19,000 were injured.

“There were 2,779 New Zealand fatalities, and 5,212 injured.

“The fact that many with horrific injuries survived is testament to the bravery and dedication of the doctors and nurses who provided care at Gallipoli.

“As we remember the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice and those who survived, it is fitting that we honour the efforts of the health workers who also served with distinction,” A/Prof Owler said.


24 April 2015

CONTACT:        John Flannery                     02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761

                            Odette Visser                      02 6270 5412 / 0427 209 753

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Published: 24 Apr 2015