September 11, 2020
Māori docs alarmed at med school entry cap
The Māori health committee of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ is challenging the University of Otago’s plan to cap the number of students entering medicine through equity pathways.
In an open letter they say as Māori physicians and paediatricians they see the inequity of health outcomes on tangata whenua from inside the hospital system, whānau bewildered and overwhelmed by systems and structures, processes and people who are not culturally safe.
The impact of this is Māori have shorter lives and are like to experience poor health for longer periods than non-Māori.
They are more likely to experience and die from several types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and respiratory conditions as they are less likely to receive a timely diagnosis or be referred for specialist treatment.
The committee says increased numbers of graduate doctors in the last few years has already caused a tangible shift in hospitals, and it believes this must continue to make a difference in health outcome inequities.
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