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Indigenous Doctors Welcomed to NZ

Media Release

7 December 2006

Ministry of Health Welcomes Indigenous Doctors to New Zealand

The Acting Deputy Director General of Maori Health Teresa Wall has welcomed a large contingent of doctors to the Pacific Region Indigenous Doctors Congress in Rotorua today.

The congress brings together doctors from their native countries of America, Canada, Australia and the Pacific to discuss the challenges faced by indigenous doctors, in improving the health status of their respective populations in a supportive environment.

Acting Deputy Director General of Maori Health Teresa Wall says indigenous people throughout the world are affected by systemic health inequalities and this is true for New Zealand where Maori have on average the poorest health status of any ethnic group in this country.

"The theme of the conference is pursuing excellence in health, and it is clear that a health system cannot be excellent unless it is appropriately responding to the health needs of its indigenous community."

The Congress has also attracted a number of international leaders in indigenous health and will give attendees an opportunity to reflect on key issues such as education and workforce development, capacity building, research and health services.

Teresa Wall also says that it is a privilege for New Zealand to be hosting a conference that looks at such an important area. The Pacific Region Indigenous Doctors Congress is a chance for us to showcase our success so far and further develop the knowledge basket to ensure we remain on the right track for reducing inequalities.

ENDS

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