AMA welcomes new body to combat rheumatic heart disease


AMA Vice President and Chair of the AMA Taskforce on Indigenous Health, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that RHDAustralia is an important first step towards eradicating rheumatic heart disease among Indigenous people.

The Government has provided RHDAustralia with $2.5 million over four years to combat rheumatic heart disease, which is a major killer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“For several years, the AMA has been calling for a coordinated national effort to eradicate rheumatic heart disease among Indigenous people,” Dr Hambleton said.

“Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease can be prevented if the right screening, management and notification processes - and follow up - are put in place.

“Now that this initiative has commenced with RHDAustralia, we would like the Government to continue to build on the momentum by implementing the $11.2 million Rheumatic Fever Strategy that was promised prior to the 2007 election.

“The AMA believes it is essential that RHDAustralia keeps all the relevant stakeholders involved and informed, especially when it comes to the development of a national register and refinement of best practice guidelines.

“Stakeholders include Indigenous communities, health services, individual doctors, and their representative organisations,” Dr Hambleton said.

28 January 2010

CONTACT:    John Flannery        02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761

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