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Māori health providers hit by funding cuts

Māori health providers hit by funding cuts

Health Minister Tony Ryall’s budget cuts are biting the very people who are the most vulnerable in our community, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.

“Information gathered through an Official Information Act request to all District Health Boards show over the past three years many DHBs have either reduced funding to Maori health providers or given such small increases they have not kept up with the cost of provision.

“Figures show that nine out of the 16 DHBs we have information for had their funding for Māori health reduced since 2010.

“Once adjusted for inflation, the situation is even worse with all 16 DHBs facing funding cuts for Māori health. In total more than $1.3 million has been slashed in the past three years.

“In the 2010/11 financial year $82.2 million was spent on Māori health but that fell to $80.9 million in 2012/13. With the Māori population increasing, these figures should be rising, not falling.

“It’s just not believable for the Minister to constantly crow about better health services when the providers of the most basic of primary healthcare, the first rung of the health care ladder faces cuts.

“Surely three recent reports providing evidence of the need to have affordable, culturally appropriate and accessible primary health care – especially for Kiwi kids – would act as a wake-up call for the Minister.

“Mr Ryall’s obsession with his ‘targets’ which are more about looking good politically than improving the health of the population, means the sickest and poorest New Zealanders will receive crumbs for funding,” Annette King says.


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