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Pacific Rim Indigenous Doctors' Association

11 September 2001 Media Statement

Pacific Rim Indigenous Doctors' Association welcomed

Health Minister Annette King is welcoming the establishment of a medical association that will seek to improve the health of the indigenous people of the Pacific.

The establishment of the Pacific Rim Indigenous Doctors' Association (PRIDA) was announced today. PRIDA will act as a forum for indigenous doctors to share information and resources, and for collaborating in areas of research, education and training. It will hold its first regional meeting in Hawaii next May.

Mrs King said the formation of PRIDA was timely, given the inequalities in health that indigenous people currently faced, particularly in New Zealand.

"There is no doubt that inequalities do exist in New Zealand, and there is also no doubt that the provision of healthcare for Maori by Maori, and for Pacific Islanders by Pacific Islanders, has shown to be successful."

Improving the health status of Maori and Pacific people is a high priority for the Government, which is putting extra resources and funding into not only reducing the disaparities, but by encouraging more Maori and Pacific Islanders into the health workforce.

Mrs King said there had been significant growth in the number of Maori and Pacific Island health professionals over the past two years.

"We are seeing more Maori and Pacific Island health providers in all levels of the health sector, but we need a lot more.

"I hope the establishment of PRIDA will encourage more Maori and Pacific people to seek a career in New Zealand's health sector."


ENDS

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