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Ed Sheeran

Māori content lets down health review

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The Royal Australasian College of Physicians say that the prioritisation of Hauora Māori in the Health and Disability System report is superficial without a commitment to providing the funding, resourcing, and decision-making authority to support its success.

Its president, Dr George Laking from Te Whakatōhea, says it's disappointing the Report rejected the alternative commissioning framework supported by the entirety of the Māori Expert Advisory Group, and a majority of the Review Panel’s members.

He says mana motuhake means Māori determination and funding of health services for whānau, hapū and iwi.

Dr Laking noted the Report’s acknowledgement of Hauora, the report released as part of Stage One in the Waitangi Tribunal’s WAI2575 Inquiry, which made an interim recommendation for the Crown to commit to exploring the concept of an independent Māori primary health authority.

“The majority of the experts involved in the Health and Disability System Review support a structure which recognises tino rangatiratanga and mana motuhake in the design, funding and delivery of health services by Māori, and for Māori.

“This is the time to be visionary. The change has to be transformative," Dr Laking says.

He says on average, Māori will die seven years earlier than Pākehā New Zealanders. Māori health inequity is large in every health outcome, and in every report.

“If the Māori Health Authority is not established with the teeth to drive the systemic change that is needed, this is an admission by the Crown that this life expectancy gap is not only tolerated, it is accepted as an inevitability."

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