Doctors urge Australia to do more for India

28 Apr 2021

Elderly Indian woman wearing a mask

AMA Queensland has welcomed the Australian Government’s initial commitment of medical equipment and supplies to help India, as it faces an unimaginable COVID crisis.

AMA Queensland President Professor Chris Perry said the devastating loss of life and shocking number of new infections in India demanded a large and long-term response.

“Our worst nightmare is unfolding in India, where the health system is being overwhelmed,” Professor Perry said.

“Indian-trained doctors make a tremendous contribution to the health sector in Australia and we know thousands of our Indian colleagues are desperately worried about the safety of their families, friends and colleagues. 

“The Australian Government’s decision to send ventilators, face masks, goggles, shields and gowns is a sensible start but this crisis is staggering and demands an ongoing commitment.

“Australia has been relatively fortunate and we must not turn away from friends in need.”

Former AMA Queensland President Dr Dilip Dhupelia urged Australian officials to work with Indian authorities to target the greatest shortages.

“Ambulances, medical oxygen, intensive care unit beds and life-saving medicines are all in short supply,” Dr Dhupelia said.

“India’s COVID testing capacity is also swamped.” 

Professor Perry acknowledged the Federal Government’s difficult decision to pause direct flights from India to Australia at least until 15 May.

“The sooner we can safely bring home Australians, the better,” he said.

“We encourage the Australian government to find a quarantine solution that will allow more people to come home when flights resume.”

Published: 28 Apr 2021