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Pacific Health Action Plan Welcomed

14 November 2000

A nationwide strategy aimed at improving the health of Pacific peoples in New Zealand has been welcomed by Pacific Island Affairs Minister Mark Gosche.

"Ill-health is not a Pacific tradition yet as we enter the 21st century Pacific peoples and children are more likely to suffer ill health than most New Zealanders. This is something we can and must change,' said Mr Gosche.

"We are working in partnership with Pacific communities to set some common, achievable goals and I would like to encourage Pacific peoples to attend the health fono in their area."

A set of key goals and objectives which will form the basis of the Pacific Health and Disability Action Plan will be presented at a series of public meetings around the country beginning with a fono in Porirua tomorrow.

"The Pacific Health and Disability Action Plan will seek to improve access to health services, strengthen primary health initiatives, improve the health of Pacific youngsters and boost the number of Pacific people working in the health workforce," said Mr Gosche.

"The Action Plan will also seek to improve community services for key Pacific health issues such as diabetes, asthma, injury prevention, immunisation, and mental health and to improve the collection of quality Pacific health information.

"This Government is building a new partnership with Pacific peoples. As part of this the Pacific Health and Disability Action Plan builds on the feedback that has been received from previous meetings and consultations with the Pacific communities.

"These include fono carried out by the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs aimed at improving outcomes for pacific people across the board and the New Zealand Health and Disability Strategy fono.

"I encourage Pacific people to attend the public meetings for the Pacific Health Action Plan and to be part of the effort to reduce the disparities between Pacific people and other New Zealanders," Mr Gosche said.

Ends

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