May 11, 2020
Maori need to be front of queue for health sector restart
A south Auckland GP wants to see a better than normal restart to the health system once COVID-19 alert levels are lowered.
Dr Rawiri Jansen says across Auckland as many as 6000 specialist appointments were deferred by the shift into lockdown, and there would also have been cases arising over the past two months.
He says that was under a system where Māori found it harder to get referrals and spent longer on waiting lists.
"I don’t want to go back to normal. That's not good enough for us. So we're doing some work with the DHBs to try to figure out what better than normal would be and for Maori patients that should see us engaging early in this restart process, engaging with some additional assistance if that is required to get them in and comfortable and seen," he says.
Dr Jansen says practices have found more efficient ways to function during the lockdown such as remote consultations, and those savings could free up capacity elsewhere in the system.
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