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More than 125 health organisations back Voice to Parliament


Jolyon Attwooll


26/09/2023 3:27:37 PM

A wide array of organisations, including the RACGP, is encouraging voters to consider the potential health benefits of a Voice to Parliament.

Yes sign, Voice to Parliament
The letter encourages Australians to consider the possible health and wellbeing benefits of a Voice to Parliament.

More than 125 health institutions have signed a joint letter to the Australian public, urging them to consider the health and wellbeing benefits a Voice to Parliament may bring.
 
In their letter the organisations – which include the RACGP – said they have carefully considered the arguments both for and against the proposal.  
 
‘We confidently believe the proposed Voice will enhance government decision making about matters that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, ultimately improving health outcomes,’ the letter reads.
 
The authors say that as health professionals, they witness firsthand a huge disparity in health outcomes.
 
‘Despite the best efforts of successive governments at all levels, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continue to have an average life expectancy gap of 8.2 years compared to other Australians,’ they wrote. 
 
‘The Voice is an opportunity for us to make a practical difference, to ensure the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples and non-Indigenous Australians does not continue to widen.
 
‘We encourage all Australians to actively consider the possible health and wellbeing benefits that the Voice to Parliament would have for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
 
‘Just as a good clinician listens to their patient, a Voice to Parliament is about listening to the voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.’
 
The RACGP first declared its support for a Voice to Parliament in July.

Dr Karen Nicholls, Chair of RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, previously told newsGP that she believes the Voice has the potential to improve health outcomes.
 
‘It is really important that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are part of the solution, that they are placed in a position where they are able to have a say on any laws or decisions that are going to impact their communities,’ she said.
 
‘This is not a political issue, it’s a human rights issue, and it is about Indigenous peoples being able to have self-determination and a say in issues that affect their lives.
 
‘We remain respectful on whether people support the Voice to Parliament or not, but I think we can all acknowledge that what we’re doing at the moment is not leading to the health outcomes that we would want.’
 
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health Voice to Parliament


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Winston Smith   27/09/2023 10:41:44 AM

The one organisation that has not come out in favour of the Yes vote is The Pharmacy Guild of Australia. The most powerful lobby group in the country that protects the financial interests of the “filthy rich 5000” chemist shop owners has no interest in referendum. I see the executive director of The Pharmacy Guild has recently resigned. I wonder if this was in protest against the recent bully boy tactics of the Guild or because they aren’t supporting the Voice to Parliament (or maybe something else)?