Institutional racism in Australian healthcare: a plea for decency

Raymond S Hyslop
Med J Aust 2004; 181 (10): 580. || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2004.tb06460.x
Published online: 15 November 2004

To the Editor: While the article by Henry and colleagues provides food for thought and possible action,1 do they exhibit the fairness they exhort to solve the problem they perceive?

There appears to be a distinct lack of logic in some of their deductions in the Box on page 517. “Body part funding” is not confined to Aboriginal health. For the 43 years I was associated with NSW Health, it was an integral part of the system and, together with its variations, increased as the years passed.

The authors claim that as only $80 per head being spent on medical and pharmaceutical benefits in a remote Aboriginal community compared with the $900 spent in Double Bay is an example of racism. Surely, it is only a reflection of the lack of both a pharmacy and doctor in the remote community compared with the easy access to both in the inner-Sydney suburb. Comparison between the remote Aboriginal community and an all-white community of similar characteristics would have more validity.

  • Raymond S Hyslop

  • 13 Eucla Road, Gwandalan, NSW 2259.


  • 1. Henry BR, Houston S, Mooney GH. Institutional racism in Australian healthcare: a plea for decency. Med J Aust 2004; 180: 517-520. <eMJA full text>


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