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Ed Sheeran

Health system ignores mistakes with Maori
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A Māori health researcher says the system of reporting adverse events in hospitals isn’t working for Māori and urgent change is needed.

The latest Learning from adverse events report from the Health Quality & Safety Commission flags that Māori are less likely to be reported as having had an adverse event.

It says implicit bias could affect the care they receive.

Epidemiologist Andrew Sporle says the problem of under-reporting of Māori was identified almost 20 years ago in research led by Dr Peter Davis, but it now seems clear that necessary changes weren’t made and the system isn’t learning from its mistakes.

"Now this is a straight-forward treaty issue. What gets measured in a bureaucracy is what gets done and if you're not measuring it properly they don't do anything about it. So how do we improve this system? Well actually, we've got a system that doesn't work and we've got a system that actually causes inequity and we don’t know how bad it is," he says.

Andrew Sporle says the fact the problem still exists is the result of a decade of underfunding of district health boards and the fact the crown has not made it a priority.

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