August 04, 2019
Complex health system harms Māori outcomes
University of Auckland experts are blaming a complex and fragmented health system for compounding the inequalities Māori and other groups are experiencing in access to care and health outcomes.
In an article in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet, professor of general practice Felicity Goodyear-Smith and health economist Toni Ashton say while the system is very good in many ways, not everybody receives the same quality of care.
They recommend a major overhaul, including a far greater focus on prevention and tackling the underlying drivers of health inequities, such as housing, institutional racism, and food and alcohol industries.
They also want to see Māori groups to lead and govern indigenous health services.
New Zealand has 20 district health boards serving populations that range from just over 33,000 to almost 600,000; 32 primary health organisations or networks of GPs and other primary health care providers (which don't necessarily line up geographically with the DHBs); and 2200 non government organisations working in the health sector, of which less than half receive government funding.
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