7 Mar 2012

DHBs told to improve reporting on Maori health

8:29 am on 7 March 2012

District health boards are being told they have to do a better job of reporting what they're doing to reduce disparities in Maori health compared to the rest of the population.

The message is contained in the latest report from the Auditor-General about the performance of DHBs.

The report says boards cut their aggregate deficit last financial year from a projected $76 million to just $16 million, but the Canterbury quakes will pose further challenges.

Although DHBs have improved their reporting, many fail to provide detailed information about health disparities involving Maori, the report says.

The Auditor-General office's health manager, Colleen Pilgrim, said that in the case of some boards, trying to find out what plan was in place for health equity, what gaps there were and what was being done about it was like looking for a needle in haystack.

Where there is a significant disparity, the Auditor-General expects to see measures and targets, with trend data, in annual reports.

Health Minister Tony Ryall said he would consider the findings.