December 21, 2020
Maori doctors push immunisation catch-up
A Māori doctor says a huge effort needs to be made to catch up on medical checks that were missed during the year of COVID-19.
Dr Rawiri Jansen, the co-chair of Māori pandemic response group Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā and a GP at Papakura Marae’s health centre, says the COVID-19 crisis has led to a much faster review and publishing of data.
That has helped give better understanding of what has been missed or delayed, such as the 64,000 cervical smears that were missed during the first lockdown.
"We're not going to get them back. We won't catch that up. We need to switch to the HPV self-swabbing, so battling with government to get that on the agenda, get that funded and get that up and running. Some other things we think we can if we just put our backs into it, we are going to get that right, so the kids who missed immunisations, that's one we can get on top of and get it back into the right place," Dr Jansen says.
The catch-up comes on top of the work needed to work towards Māori health equity.
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