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Closure of Maori Primary Health Organisation

Maori Party disappointed at closure of Maori Primary Health Organisation

Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party.

26 January 2005

“It is a very sad day for tangata whenua in Rotorua, and Maori health providers throughout the country, that Te Kupenga a Kahu has had its contract for healthcare services withdrawn” said Tariana Turia today.

“Whilst I understand the need for the Lakes District Health Board to exercise clear and consistent standards of accountability from their providers, I believe the Government has failed to meet its responsibilities in supporting Maori health”.

“The Minister of Health was advised in July 2004 that management costs for Maori PHOs were insufficient to meet the real needs of providing their service. I have also raised this issue in the House, over six months ago” said Mrs Turia.

“The key issue as identified by Maori providers, is that they do not have the economy of scale to support a basic level of management and governance to run their operations”.

“In the case of Te Kupenga a Kahu they were also disadvantaged by not gaining access to the range of contracts available to other providers”.

“Despite this, the providers accessing the PHO have achieved some excellent results, for example Te Runanga o Ngati Pikiao has attained 3000 clients in less than a year”.

“This provider is in Mita Ririnui’s electorate – where has he been, and how has he allowed this to happen?”

“I would hope the crisis that has occurred for this Maori PHO will cause the Government to take seriously the advice they have been receiving over this last year, and thereby prevent any further Maori PHOs from facing the risk of collapse”.

ENDS

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