25 Sep 2015

Call to address Maori health disparities

6:12 pm on 25 September 2015

The Māori Medical Practitioners Association is welcoming the Medical Council's call for non-Māori and Māori doctors to work together to address issues of inequality tāngata whenua face in the health system.

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Photo: 123rf.com

The Medical Council said 10 years after it published its standards on cultural competency, Māori health statistics were still poorer than the rest of the population.

It said supporting Māori doctors was the key to solving tāngata whenua health disparities.

Te Ohu Rata O Aotearoa chair Rawiri Jansen said the Medical Council was showing great leadership.

Dr Jansen, of Ngāti Raukawa descent, said there were some areas of the medical profession that needed help to improve better health results for Māori.

"With this leadership from the Medical Council it's really a call to action for the wider medical sector to get involved and take some responsibility for the parts of the health system and the wider health sector, that can deliver some improved outcomes," he said.

"We look forward to working with the medical colleges, medical practitioners and the wider medical sector to fulfil the expectations the Medical Council has set out for us to contribute to reducing health inequity for Māori."

Māori Party commends Medical Council's campaign

The Māori Party is also supporting the Medical Council's campaign to reduce the health inequities faced by Māori.

"Health outcomes for Māori remain unacceptably poor. For too long, we have had to put up with a health system that falls short of meeting the needs of whānau Māori," said Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox.

"We support the Council wanting to build upon its cultural competency guidelines that aim to equip health workers with knowledge about how to care appropriately for Māori," she said.

Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell said the Māori Party supported any profession that was willing to address inequities between Māori and non-Māori.

"We supported the Medical Council's guidelines when they were developed and the Māori Party used them as a basis for Tātaiako, a cultural competency programme for teachers. It's great to see the Medical Council strive to do more," he said.

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