AMA partners with UNICEF to help India’s COVID-19 crisis

20 May 2021

 AMA members have been responding with support for sister organisation, the Indian Medical Association (IMA), following a letter from the president detailing how to support medical colleagues in India and charities conducting appeals for tax deductible donations to help countries struggling with the pandemic.

The appeal follows talks between the AMA and the IMA and high-level diplomatic discussions over the worsening situation in India. In recent weeks, the AMA has consulted with Australia’s High Commissioner in India, Barry O’Farrell and last Friday, Dr Khorshid met with India’s Deputy High Commissioner to Australia, P.S. Karthigeyan. 

“The IMA has been at the forefront of India’s COVID-19 response and we’ve been hearing about its important work establishing special COVID clinics, setting up helplines for patients to manage hospital admissions and arranging and administering medicines and oxygen,” Dr Khorshid said.  

“Sadly, more than 1,000 Indian doctors have died throughout the pandemic, including families with two doctor parents who’ve both died from COVID-19, creating a generation of medical family orphans.

“I’m struck by how awfully sad this news is, more so with the passing of a former IMA President from COVID-19.

“We know that supporting the IMA’s special COVID-19 fund will translate into heath care on the ground where it’s needed and UNICEF, along with other charities, has established tax deductible donations for Australians willing to support delivery of health care on the ground in India.  

“I’ve also promised the IMA we will seek more Australian Government support for India through vaccine supply, provision of medical equipment, and repatriation of vulnerable Australians in India to relieve just a bit of extra pressure from their local health system. 

“The AMA has also asked the Australian Government for more support for other countries in need, and particularly our near neighbours in Papua New Guinea. Australia has a special bond with the people of PNG, and a duty to do more. 

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