June 22, 2023
Māori sought for extra med school places
The acting dean of the Auckland University medical school says efforts to increase the proportion of Māori and Pasifika doctors will continue with an extra allocation of training places.
Professor Warwick Bagg says 30 of the new places will be in Auckland and 20 in Otago, compensating for an historic impalance towards Otago.
He says in recent years Waipapa Taumata Rau has aimed for 40 percent of places to be filled by Maori and Pacifika students, matching the demographic in the 19 to 25 age group.
“We’re not quite reaching that target at the moment but we have programmes in place – Whakapiki Ake, reaching into schools to bring Maori along, taking the right subjects and coaching them; for those who need some bridging between school and university we have Hikitia te Ora to help with that process of getting them ready to succeed at university,” Professor Bagg says.
Over the past five years Auckland has had about 40 to 45 Maori students a year coming through medicine.
Professor Bagg says they would value a long term plan that’s worked through with the Ministry of Health as to how they want to increase the number of doctors.
He says this should be part of a broader conversation to make sure every health professional is working at the top of their scope such as pharmacists who during the pandemic very successfully shouldered the burden of vaccinating and were able to prescribe anti-viral medications.