December 06, 2021
Pharmac needs to learn partnership
A Māori GP who has worked with Pharmac says the government drug buying agency has a lot of work to do to fix its relationships with Māori.
A review of the agency has slammed its fortress mentality and its failure to address issues of equity in either its work or its workplace.
Dr Rawiri Jansen, the clinical director of the National Hauora Collective, says fixing the problem is about more than just hiring a few more Māori staff – and the fact when the review was done just four of its almost 150 kaimahi were Māori shows its lack of self-awareness.
“We really had to battle hard to get the new diabetes medications across the line with a pro-equity criteria. They are now trumpeting that as their success. Well, their success comes from our efforts and they have got to learn how to partner up and take guidance and instruction from Māori expertise and from Māori communities,” he says.
Dr Jansen says if Pharmac does its job properly it can make a big contribution to Māori health outcomes.