October 13, 2023
One size fits all medicine a failed experiement
A senior Māori doctor says Māori organisations have shown they can deliver healthcare in areas where mainstream services struggle.
Jonathon Koea says National and ACT’s promise to scrap the Māori health authority Te Aka Whai Ora is a backward step.
He says Māori life expectancy is seven years less than non-Māori, in large part because of Māori having excess incidence in 19 of the 20 most common cancers and higher mortality rates.
“The political message from some parts of the spectrum is one system for everyone but unfortunately we have already done that experiment for 170 years and it hasn’t worked for Maori. It doesn’t work. A system tha tis constructed under western lines isn’t gong to work in a Maori context,” Professor Koea says.
He says advances in Maori health provision over the past 30 years, including the Covid response, had demonstrated that given protper resources Maori are capable of delivering healthcare to their own people including those at the edge of society.