Child`s flu death sparks race tensions in Oz
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Last Updated: Saturday, July 25, 2009, 14:55
Sydney: A doctor was evacuated from an Aboriginal community in Australia's remote north amid race tensions following the death of a four-year-old girl believed to be suffering swine flu, reports said on Saturday.

The child was sent home from the six-bed Doomadgee town hospital three times, despite having a fever and breathing difficulties, before finally being admitted in a serious condition, her family said.

The hospital's only doctor refused to transfer her to the larger hospital in nearby Mount Isa and she died in her grandmother's arms late Thursday, they said, accusing staff of racism.

"If she were a little white child the first day she went to the hospital she would have been flown out to Mount Isa," her grandfather, Athol Walden, told The Australian newspaper.

"Some of them we get here are racist, a lot of the people who work in our community."

His wife, Katrina added: "I think she was neglected because she was a little black girl."

Test results released today showed she was not in fact suffering from A(H1N1) influenza, and the cause of death would be determined by the coroner, the state's chief medical officer said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, July 25, 2009, 14:55

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