February 07, 2024
Marae proposed for cancer services
A Māori oncologist is looking for ways to take cancer services into marae and other community settings.
Sunday was World Cancer Day, and George Laking says the disease is fast taking over from heart disease as New Zealand’s number one killer.
He says early detection is vital, but Māori often miss out because services are locked inside the hospital system.
New technologies mean consultations, making treatment plans and even provision of medicines can be done outside the hospital setting.
“If you go to people’s own turangawaewae, it’s where they’ve got their strength, that’s their own place, it’s kind of separate from a lot of the experiences and history that whanau carry from previous experiences with hospitals,” Dr Laking says.
A big part of dealing with cancer is building trust, which can more easily be done in non-hospital isettings for both Maori and non-Maori.