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The Northern Territory Emergency Response: a chance to heal Australia's worst sore

  • Year: 2007
  • Author: Glasson, William J H
  • Journal Name: Medical Journal of Australia
  • Journal Number: Vol.187, No.11/12
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: Northern Territory

The Federal Government's Northern Territory Emergency Response has three broad objectives: stabilisation to protect children and secure their communities; normalisation of services and infrastructures; and longer term sustainability, bringing Indigenous Australians into line with the choices other Australians enjoy. From a health point of view one of the key factors in the stabilisation and normalisation phases of the intervention is the health checks to be carried out on children under the age of 16. Despite criticism of the motives and means of intervention, it presents an important opportunity to restore the health of rural and remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. In addition, it offers the prospect of healing for Australian society, wounded by the disparity between the well being of Indigenous Australians and the general population.

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