October 20, 2021
If there were ever a time to acknowledge the need for a Māori Health Authority – COVID is it
Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury: One of the lessons out of the 2019 measles epidemic was the importance of mobile vaccination clinics to go out to the community via trusted leaders within those communities.
Those communities weren’t ignorant or vaccine-hesitant, the majority weren’t economically able to fund the transport costs to get to the vaccination centre!
These exact same amplifications of poverty are playing out with the COVID vaccination program!
Blaming poor communities who don’t have the resources to afford transport to the vaccination clinics is a malevolent position to take on what is a public health emergency, that level of community poverty is an indictment on us all, it isn’t those communities fault!
When Māori Health Agencies lead the response out to their wider community vaccination rates climb, when they don’t they slow.
When Māori Health Agencies complain about a mountain of paperwork to sign off before gaining urgently needed cash I reflect on the ease with which we handed out billions in wage subsidies using nothing more than one page of information.Let’s not pretend it can’t be done.
The success of Māori Health Agencies demands an independent Māori Health Authority, to pretend otherwise is to harm basic public health.