Simon Royal, Chief Executive of the National Hauora Coalition, welcomes the announcement from Minister of Health, Hon David Clark, of a wide ranging review of the health and disability system.
“We know that the health system is not designed with and for Māori and does not deliver anywhere near the level of health outcomes for Māori that it should. We need a courageous review that challenges the root causes of this inequity including institutional racism and is prepared to take responsibility away from entities we know are failing Māori”.
Simon, along with National Hauora Coalition Trustee — Henare Mason, is a named claimant in Wai 2687, a primary health care claim being heard in stage one of the Waitangi Tribunal’s kaupapa inquiry into Health Services and Outcomes later this year.
“One of the reasons we have taken our claim is we have seen first hand that the health system — despite good intentions — has not been able to shift the differences in health outcomes and status between Māori and non-Māori in Aotearoa”, said Simon.
‘We have a long history in the health system. We were optimistic about the changes to primary health care in 2002 with the previous Labour Government’s Primary Health Care Strategy. That talked explicitly about needing to improve outcomes for Māori and Pacific populations and address the disparities in health status between different groups. But from day one the implementation of the strategy favoured the status quo and Māori health providers — who were ready to lead the change — were marginalised and struggled with low funding levels and high expectations”.
“This timing of this review is important, and we were pleased to see that the Minister specifically references the Kaupapa Inquiry (Wai 2575) in his media statement. Incorporating the findings of the tribunal into the review will demonstrate leadership and a commitment to giving effect to the Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It is also important that the review group membership has strong Māori input and is prepared to challenge the patriarchal structures and behaviours that have created and reinforced the problems of the health system.”
For media queries contact: Tammy Dehar, National Hauora Coalition, 021 412 203