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Lancet confirms Maori receive inferior care

Lancet confirms Maori more likely to receive inferior care in hospitals

Embargoed until 00:01H (United Kingdom time) Friday June 9, 2006

Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party

Health Spokesperson

A Lancet article due out this week confirms that from a sample of 6579 patients admitted to thirteen hospitals in 1998, Maori patients “had a higher risk of preventable adverse events in hospital than did patients of non-Maori, non-Pacific origin”.

“This report, yet another report, is deeply distressing” said Tariana Turia, co-leader of the Maori Party.

The report states that “Maori were more likely to receive sub-optimal care”.

“How many reports do we have to receive before this Government wakes up to the reality of racism?” said Mrs Turia.

“We have received reports from the United Nations Special Rapporteur highighting the specific disparities between Maori and others.

“The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation recently released a report stating that bias and discrimination are commonly cited barriers for Maori in accessing health care”.

“The Decades of Disparity III report urges us to think, about other questions such as why survival from cancer, even adjusting for age and stage; is lower among Māori than non-Māori?”

“And here we have the world's leading independent general medical journal, the Lancet, confirming another dimension to the disparity - that even if Maori do manage to get through the barriers and access the treatment and care they are entitled to, they may suffer from an adverse event in hospital”.

“The research identifies ‘adverse events’ as poor-quality practice that harms patients and can be remedied".

“My biggest concern with this latest report, is the impact that such information has on Maori confidence in the public health system.

“I welcome the recommendation from the research that data for quality must be collected routinely and more systematically, and when presented, should be stratified by ethnicity”.

“We need to know what we are dealing with here” said Mrs Turia.


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