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Funding Efficient Use Of Resources Says PHA

Western Bay Of Plenty PHO Funding Efficient Use Of Resources Says PHA

1 September 2006

The Western Bay of Plenty PHO’s focus on encouraging Maori men between 35 and 45 to increase their physical activity and lose weight is an example of targeting those most in need and should be encouraged, says the Public Health Association.

PHA Director Dr Gay Keating was responding to criticism from National MP Tony Ryall that the funding was race-based.

“It is an unfortunate fact that Maori men of middle age have a high rate of cardiovascular disease. By encouraging this group to be more active and lose weight, the PHO is using its resources extremely efficiently.

“The PHA fully supports this focus on providing assistance to those who need it most, and encourages other PHOs to do the same.”

Dr Keating says that it is often necessary to consider groups independently, both in funding and policy, if we are to see any decline in sickness and death rates.

“For example, there are many areas in which Maori health must be given priority. This debate has led to political squabbling in the past, with accusations that more funding for Maori is political correctness gone mad. The truth is, unless we provide more funding for the groups that need it most, such as Maori, they will continue to become ill and die at greater rates than other New Zealanders.

“It’s not political correctness, it’s life or death.”

ENDS

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