14 Oct 2018

Government to address issues of racial bias around prem babies

5:10 pm on 14 October 2018

The government has committed to addressing issues of racial bias against non-Pakeha premature babies.

Newborn baby

Photo: 123RF

A national report into new-born deaths has found resuscitation attempts are less likely for Māori and Pacifica babies born early.

The finding is part of the twelfth annual report of the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee.

The report found resuscitation was tried on 92 percent of Māori babies, 88 percent of Pacifica babies and 86 percent of Indian babies.

Other babies, of Pakeha and other European ethnicities, had a 95 percent resuscitation rate.

Associate minister for health Jenny Salesa said improving inequities was very important to the government.

Ms Salesa said the ministry would work closely with the committee to understand the issues.