July 09, 2021
Local commissioning best hope for Maori health services
Ikaroa Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri hopes the creation of the Māori Health Authority will improve services to remote parts of her far flung electorate.
A recent television investigation highlighted the limited health services on the East Coast, where life expectancy among the predominantly Māori population is more than 13 years less than the rest of the country.
Ms Whaitiri says with its falling and increasingly elderly population, Tairāwhiti struggles to get resources under existing DHB funding structures.
She says the establishment of a Māori Health Authority with the ability to commission local services should be a game breaker.
"So it won't be necessarily Pākehā bureaucrats from Wellington commissioning those local services. It will be Māori health providers commissioning for those serves and I hope for Tairāwhiti it will be people there who understand the complexities and challenges of our region," Ms Whaitiri says.
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