November 28, 2018
Doc keen to rip korowai off broken health system
A Kaitaia doctor is calling on iwi to support a radical shake up of health service delivery.
Lance O’Sullivan, a former New Zealander of the year, says the latest spike in meningitis cases in Taitokerau is a symptom that the health system is broken.
He says the system is too reliant on doctors, and he’d like to see nurse-led primary healthcare, greater use of paramedics, compulsory vaccination programmes and strategies to tackle the drivers of the poverty which create the conditions for infectious diseases to flourish.
Dr O’Sullivan says new ways of thinking are needed.
"Our people’s historical answer to the problem is to become part of the problem. We have a problem with health services delivered by Pākehā organisations so what do we become? We become a Māori version of a Pākehā health organisation and we do worse than what these other Pākehā organisations do. We have to rethink and reframe that. We can't simply put a korowai over a Pākehā model of health care and think it’s going to work," he says.
Dr O’Sullivan says government can’t make the necessary changes because it won’t leave its comfort zone.
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