8 Sep 2019

Health and disability review falls short for Māori

10:33 pm on 8 September 2019

A new health and disability review does not go far enough for better outcomes for Māori, a health advocate says.

Hospital hallway, doctor, nurse, file pic, generic

Photo: 123RF

The interim report does not have recommendations but highlights areas that it plans to improve for health and disability.

A finalised report will be available early next year.

Ngā Mataapuna Oranga is a health organisation that has programmes tailored for Māori. A spokesperson said the review has made a step in the right direction for looking at community health hubs.

But its chief executive, Janice Kuka, said it fell short in looking to establish a Māori Health Authority.

"We were wanting that establishment because of the funding mechanisms, the structural changes that need to happen so that Māori can make their own decisions in terms of strategy, policy, implementation - in terms of how services are provided and what kind of practices they would be."

Ms Kuka, who is also a part of the Wai 1315 claimant group for primary care, said a Māori Health Authority was recommended by the Waitangi Tribunal.

She pointed out that the interim report is only about "setting the scene for the next five to ten years" whereas Māori needed action now.

"Māori cannot wait that long, it's far too long...the Treaty recommendations talk about immediately setting up groups to look at that [a Māori Health Authority]."

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