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DVD, Guidelines To Help Health Care For Māori

MEDIA RELEASE
11 AUGUST 2008

New DVD And Guidelines Released To Help Health Professionals Care For Māori

Awareness of Māori culture and how to treat Māori patients more effectively are the subjects of a new DVD aimed at New Zealand’s health professionals.

The DVD, along with updated guidelines, has been developed by ACC and is being distributed to its accredited health providers, such as GPs, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, counselors, nurses and resthome staff.

Te türoro Māori me o mahi – The Mäori patient in your practice; Guidelines on Mäori Cultural Competencies for Providers uses insights from health providers about the importance of tikanga to their Māori patients, and shows how having an awareness of that has improved their recovery.

The guidelines and DVD give a very comprehensive introduction to tikanga and appropriate practices when treating Māori patients, said Paula Snowden, ACC’s Director of Māori and Community Relations.

“In the DVD, health providers share their stories on how they interact with their Māori patients and how that’s made their patients more engaged with their treatment. I was particularly touched by the story of the lung-transplant recipient who felt – although he knew he couldn’t live with his old lungs – he didn’t want to live with his new ones, and was reluctant to leave hospital.

“After talking to him, the Tikanga Advisor realised what he needed was to say a karakia to thank his old lungs, and say another to welcome his new lungs and introduce them to his body. The man left the hospital that afternoon.”

That showed often there were some simple things that health providers can do to make their Māori patients more at ease and help them with their recovery and rehabilitation, Ms Snowden said. “As one of the GPs says in the DVD, things that were small for her were for big for her Maori patients and in respecting those things she earned their respect.”

“Also, although the DVD and guidelines are specific to Māori, many of the suggestions are about good communication and this will benefit patients from a range of cultures. Open and fair access for all is a priority for ACC and we know these guidelines – and the DVD – will help.”

GPs can also use the resource to gain the Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits that all general practitioners must do.


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