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Maori attitudes towards pharmacies

Maori attitudes towards pharmacies

Research presented at Public Health Association conference

Employing Maori staff in pharmacies would help overcome discomfort felt by many Maori using pharmacies, according to University of Otago research.

The research was carried out by a Maori second year pharmacy student Renee Anderson from the University of Otago School of Pharmacy and presented to the Public Health Association conference in Ngaruawahia today by senior lecturer Dr Pauline Norris.

Dr Norris says Maori people in the Whangarei area were interviewed about their use and attitudes towards pharmacy services. Dr Norris says many Maori people found pharmacists friendly and helpful and reported that they gave easily understood explanations about medications.

However many of the people interviewed also worried health professionals and staff were judgemental. The personal presentation of pharmacy staff was seen as intimidating and there were also concerns about lack of privacy in pharmacies, Dr Norris says.

The researchers found Maori tended to seek out Maori staff to speak on their behalf and act as intermediaries in pharmacies. Some people felt they would just like to see a few more Maori faces in the pharmacy environment, according to Dr Norris. She says employing Maori staff could help overcome difficulties Maori people experience when picking up prescriptions.


Maori pharmacists have recently formed a Maori pharmacists Association and a draft Maori pharmacy strategy has been drawn up. It is estimated there may be up to 40 Maori pharmacists working in New Zealand.

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