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Ed Sheeran

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The Royal Australasian College of Physicians is calling for the elimination of gaps between the health of Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in Aotearoa NZ and Australia.

In a landmark Statement on Indigenous Child Health, it highlighted the need to understand colonial history and how privilege and racism operates within health care systems.

Danny de Lore from Ngāti Tuwharetoa, who chairs the college’s Indigenous Child Health Working Group, says while there are some differences, a lot of the root causes behind negative statistics and health outcomes is common to both countries.

He says the ongoing impact of colonisation can be difficult for non-indigenous people to understand.

"It's a feature just like privilege - when you have it you don't recognise you have it. So there are a lot of hospital specialists who understand there is an issue but trying to engage with some of these things that are deeply embedded not just in our health system but in our society we all belong to, those are difficult issues to bring up," Dr de Lore says.

He says while more Māori are going through medical school, not enough of them are choosing careers in hospitals as specialists.

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