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National will improve Māori health outcomes


Shane Reti - Health

12 December 2019

National will seek to address Māori health inequities by relentlessly focussing on early detection, prevention and setting targets, National’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“Our overall strategy takes a needs based approach and Māori currently have poorer outcomes and lower average life expectancy than non-Māori across most health metrics. Our Health Discussion Document looks at ways to address this through targeted interventions which advance and promote Māori health.

“As part of our commitment to reducing inequities, we’ll reinstate the requirement for every DHB to report against a Māori Health Strategy annually. This will focus resources and attention to high need areas.

“We’ve asked DHBs and Māori health providers where funding for Māori health could have the greatest impact.

“They’ve told us that lung cancer is the most common cancer in Māori women and the second-most common in Māori men. National has listened and we will do something about it. For all smokers who meet the criteria, National will pilot low-dose CT scanning to ensure early detection and treatment of lung cancers.

“We also know that Māori experience gout at much higher rates than non-Māori. Gout is estimated to cost New Zealand more than $200 million per year in economic costs.

“We’ll explore a nationwide programme of gout management in collaboration with Arthritis New Zealand. We’re proposing measures which ensure Māori and Pasifika have equitable access to medication which lowers their uric acid levels and improved public education.

“These targeted measures will have a big impact. National is doing the work in Opposition so we’re ready to hit the ground running in 2020.”

ends

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