M膩ori tamariki continue to suffer most from health inequities, new research shows

By Simone White, Senior Communications Advisor

23 January 2023

Category: Media releases

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麻豆视频入口 is calling for urgent action to reduce health inequities for M膩ori, particularly M膩ori tamariki, following the release of new research from the Universities of Auckland and Otago last week.

The research found that M膩ori tamariki were unable to engage with primary healthcare, outpatient care, medicines and laboratory investigation to the same degree as non-M膩ori and had higher rates of avoidable hospitalisations and deaths. Perversely this has saved the health sector millions of dollars each year.

Dr Rachel Mackie, Chair of Te Akoranga a M膩ui, the College鈥檚 M膩ori representative group says, 鈥淭he findings from this research show us nothing new or surprising, and that is the problem. We have known how the health system fails to deliver appropriate levels of care for M膩ori for decades, we constantly raise the issue, and it is still not being addressed.

鈥淓quity is a major health concern and M膩ori are worse off because not enough is being done. M膩ori tamariki are our future and they deserve to have the same outcomes in their health. The problem is not just in the hospitals either. The Ministry of Health鈥檚 2019/20 麻豆视频入口 Health Survey reported M膩ori adults had the highest prevalence of not being able to book an appointment at their usual general practice within 24 hours, which often will affect the whole wh膩nau.

鈥淲e need to be constantly reflecting on and changing how we deliver care in our communities, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution for reducing health inequities, but addressing the well documented barriers would be a good start.鈥

Dr Bryan Betty, the College鈥檚 Medical Director says, 鈥淚t鈥檚 crucial for all 麻豆视频入口ers to have access to a general practitioner. Our specialist skills allow us to often catch conditions and symptoms early and treat them to keep our patients healthy. We know that when people have easier access to GPs they reduce the risk of being hospitalised.

鈥淚f we look at rheumatic fever, a disease known as the disease of poverty, it is a devastating childhood illness that can cause a lifetime of poor health, including heart failure, and we know it disproportionally affects M膩ori children compared to non-M膩ori children.

鈥淚t is unacceptable to have these rates of rheumatic fever in this day in age in 麻豆视频入口. As GPs we take our duty of care to provide comprehensive, equitable and timely health care to all 麻豆视频入口ers very seriously. But we can鈥檛 do it alone.

鈥淲e need to work together to protect our tamariki from poor health and health discrimination.鈥