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Health Results Shock Maori Party

Nelson/Marlborough Health Results Shock Maori Party

Hon Tariana Turia and Rahui Katene

Thursday 5 November 2009

Results from a report examining the lifestyles of Maori in 150 Nelson and Marlborough households have shocked Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia and local member Rahui Katene.

The research, involving 187 Maori adults and 135 children, has revealed an inferior quality of care being provided by family doctors.

“A result which really stood out was the finding that while more than 80% of Maori adult had visited a GP in the year of the survey; only 15% were aware that the cholesterol level in their blood was high” said Mrs Turia.

“Despite this, when the study tested these same adults a massive 80% had recommended levels of cholesterol; 13% of these were high risk”.

“This is a level of negligence and professional indifference which cause me great concern” said Mrs Turia.   “Something is going drastically wrong if GPs are failing to test Maori for cholesterol and insulin resistance as a matter of course – particularly given the high levels of obesity reported in the study”.

“I’m very concerned that it appears Maori living in Marlborough and Nelson are not receiving the quality of care we should expect our health system to deliver” said Mrs Katene.

 “We are often told that Maori are not accessing the health system – but this report tells us something different.  It reports high levels of access to health services from Maori but poor quality of care once they get there”.

“I don’t find the judgemental attitude of Board Chair, John Moore, at all helpful” said Mrs Katene.  “His comments about Maori having enough money to buy cigarettes appears to place all blame for poor health outcomes on Maori themselves, without also recognising the accountability required from family doctors”.

“Our people need support to address addictions and to address lifestyle issues, not pointed fingers and blame” ended Mrs Katene.

The report from Massey University's Research Centre for Maori Health and Development found

·         Between 33% and 49% of adult Maori tested were insulin-resistant, indicating a risk of diabetes.

Half the adults smoked, including two thirds of mothers, half of these during the first year of their child's life or during pregnancy;
Three-quarters of adult Maori were overweight and at risk of cardiovascular and other diseases



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