Doctors Back A Fully Empowered Māori Health Authority

Doctors Back A Fully Empowered Māori Health Authority

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and the
New Zealand Medical Association are making clear their
support for the establishment of a Māori Health Authority
with full commissioning rights, as a new pathway to deliver
health equity for Māori.

The Final
Report of the Health and Disability System Review
included a recommendation for a Māori Health Authority.
However, Review members were split on whether it should have
the power to commission and fund services. An “alternative
view” in the report called for these greater
powers.

A Māori Health Authority was also part of
Labour’s 2020 election promise in its Next
Steps to Rebuilding Our Health System. The Minister of
Health Andrew Little said late last year, “Māori are
suffering in a health system that is not treating them
equally. If we’re going to have a Māori Health Authority,
I’m determined that it genuinely has the authority to really
make a difference for Māori. I want to be sure that we’re
doing everything we can, that it’s a game-changer for
Māori.”

The NZMA and ASMS believe health must no
longer remain a one-size-fits-all model, and now is the time
to have a ‘for Māori-by-Māori’ holistic approach
encompassing mātauranga Māori and rongoā
(healing and medicines).

“Māori making decisions
for Māori embodies the Treaty imperative of tino
rangatiratanga, and we know that the current health system
is not treating Māori equally. The Government has shown us
it can take decisive action as it did with Covid 19. Now we
need courageous decision-making for Māori wellbeing as the
current model does not work,” says NZMA Chair Dr Kate
Baddock.

ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton says,
“all the data tells us that the current system
discriminates against Māori so it stands to reason that a
new system must be designed by Māori for Māori if we’re
serious about making a positive difference in health
outcomes for all New Zealanders”.

It is also
critical that a Māori lens is firmly applied to all areas
of the health system to promote and create more equitable
access in mainstream services.

Both organisations
strongly favour a Māori Health Authority that is empowered
to create, commission and fund structures and services for
Māori, and encourage other health organisations and
professional bodies to add their voices in
support.

© Scoop Media

 

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