A new information pamphlet targeting Aboriginal communities in Western Australia aims to improve awareness amongst seniors of the use and misuse of medicine.
The pamphlet is an extension of the Government's Meditalk information program and encourages Aboriginal seniors to question their doctor, health worker or chemist about their medical condition and the type of medicine prescribed.
"In 1990, about 2,000 people were admitted to hospital after taking inappropriate doses of medicine, the wrong medicine or because of a reaction between two or more types of medicine," Aboriginal Affairs and Seniors' Minister Judyth Watson said today.
"It is estimated that of all seniors admitted to hospital, one in five is as a direct result of an adverse reaction to medicines.
"Many of these cases would have been preventable."
Dr Watson said distribution of the Meditalk pamphlet would begin next week to assist Aboriginal seniors attain a better understanding of the effects of their medication.
"Many Aboriginal people are reluctant to ask their doctor, chemist or health worker questions about their medicine," she said.
"The pamphlet urges them to seek out information on possible side-effects of their medicine, how long they should be taken and how they work."