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Maori Health and Government Policy, 1840-1940

COMPREHENSIVE NEW HISTORY OF MAORI HEALTH LAUNCHED

Maori Health and Government Policy, 1840-1940

A history tracing official efforts to meet Maori health needs during the first hundred years of organised European settlement in New Zealand was launched today.

Maori Health and Government Policy, 1840-1940 by Derek Dow is published by the Heritage Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs and Victoria University Press.

This important study focuses on policy initiatives rather than health outcomes.

Drawing on a wide range of sources and making frequent reference to individual circumstance, Derek Dow traces the varied response of successive governments to Maori health needs.

He shows how health services for Maori developed in an ad hoc fashion, with marked differences between localities in the provision and quality of health care. This account of an essentially piecemeal policy helps to place later developments in context.

Maori Health and Government Policy, 1840-1940 explores four major themes:

· the administration and funding of Maori health;

· the association between Maori and hospitals;

· the subsidised medical officers who provided primary health care;

· infection control and sanitary measures.

Other topics include the role of missionary medicine in the 1840s, attempts to improve the health status of Maori children and Maori health research.

This comprehensive study ends in 1940 with the implementation of the 1938 Social Security Act under which hospital care became free for all New Zealanders and the general medical service benefit was introduced with it?s consequent changes to the nature of General Practice.

Derek Dow is a freelance historian who published extensively on hospitals and other medical institutions during eleven years as a medical archivist in Scotland. Since emigrating to New Zealand in 1990 he has written an Annotated Bibliography for the History of Medicine in New Zealand (1994) and, also for the Historical Branch, Safeguarding the Public Health : A History of the New Zealand Department of Health (1995).

For further information contact Pamela Fleming , media adviser, Dept. Internal Affairs DD 04 495 9436, Fax 04 495 7237, email: pamela.fleming@dia.govt.nz , Website www.dia.govt.nz

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