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Asian communities' health must not be sidelined

Pansy Wong National Ethnic Affairs Spokesperson

24 October 2001

Asian communities' health needs must not be sidelined

The Health Minister's concern over the lack of Maori and Pacific Island representation on district health boards should also extend to the Asian communities, says National's Ethnic Affairs spokesperson, Pansy Wong.

"Surveys undertaken by the Health Funding Authority, the Waitemata District Health Board, the Auckland City Council and the Asian Wellbeing Foundation have all pointed to barriers which are preventing the Asian communities from accessing adequate health services.

"These barriers include language difficulties, lack of information and lack of comprehensive health studies into the needs of minority communities.

"In both Auckland and Christchurch, Asian New Zealanders put themselves forward as candidates in the District Health Board elections. This demonstrated their commitment to their communities and the need for Asian representation on local boards.

"Will the Minister of Health make the same kind of commitment to these communities by appointing them to the health boards, especially in Auckland where at least one in ten of the population is Asian?" asked Pansy Wong.


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