16 Oct 2015

Research shows Maori health inequality

11:30 am on 16 October 2015

A health researcher said a series of reports into Māori well-being across the motu provides a stark reminder of the inequities they face in achieving good health.

Twenty reports, called, Māori Health Profiles for 2015, have been released today which focus on the health status of Māori, and reveal where there are inequalities compared to non-Māori.

The information was presented using the framework of He Korowai Oranga, the Māori Health Strategy.

They provide snapshots of the health of tāngata whenua in district health board regions was released today.

Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora o Eru Pomare at the University of Otago, conducted the research for the health profiles which was commissioned by the Ministry of Health.

Centre director and lead researcher, Bridget Robson, said the aim was to have district health boards use statistics when making their health plans and where to spend their resources.

She said there was a high degree of inequality in the regions that had the highest Māori populations such as treatment of gout, asthma and heart disease.

"We haven't managed to treat the heart disease properly ending up with people with heart failure. So I think for health systems, for health care there are key points where issues need to be addressed so they don't turn into complications."

"The profiles remind us that stark inequalities in health continue. They provide a useful base for identifying key issues and planning actions to improve Māori health,"

Ms Robson said the statistics in the reports would be a useful resource for each DHB for making their health plans and decisions on where to spend their resources.

"The profiles provide information for Māori in communities, in services providing health care, and on boards making decisions about health spending said Ms Robson.