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An End To Dividing Health By Race

  • Getting rid of the race-based Māori Health Authority
  • Ending the use of race to prioritise surgical waitlists
  • Stopping pharmacy initiatives only accessible to Māori and Pasifika
  • An end to giving out race-based taxpayer-funded freebies – like prezzy cards for pregnant Māori women.

“There is no justification for the public healthcare system to assign care based on ethnicity. It is lazy, divisive and doesn’t address the core problems at the heart of the health system. ACT will stop dividing healthcare by race,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The emphasis in health should be fitting services to every New Zealander. Our population is more diverse than just Māori and non-Māori, but you wouldn’t know it from this Government’s priorities.

“This is sadly a classic example of what’s happening everywhere in the bureaucracy: arguing over identity rather than solving problems. We need to tell the public service that treating people differently based on race is lazy and divisive – they must get better at targeting need equally.

“ACT will demand that the public health sector is colourblind, but highly focused on eliminating inequity. It should not lazily assume all Māori mothers need to be bribed to look after their pepe, nor should it assume all non-Māori are less in need. Some are, some aren’t. ACT is opposed to racial discrimination because it’s a lazy and divisive way of treating people.

“The Māori Health Authority experiment has been disastrous, and that’s why we will end it. The Māori Health Authority has sacked half its board, failed to hire critical skills because it’s too focused on hiring based on race, wasted half a billion dollars, failed to deliver better healthcare, and created resentment and division among New Zealanders.

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“A person who is in great clinical need, has waited a long time, lives far from major medical facilities, and is poor could be Māori, European, Pacific, Indian or Chinese, and they should all be treated equally.

“The Community Pharmacy Minor Ailments Service allows pharmacies in selected areas to consult and provide treatment aids for a range of ‘common, uncomplicated conditions which can be diagnosed and managed without medical intervention.’ The catch, eligibility for the service is based on race.

“Rationing healthcare by race doesn’t address the causes of poor health, it’s just a sop to make Labour politicians feel like they’re doing something. The only thing race-based healthcare delivers is resentment and division.

“ACT will address the causes of poor health outcomes, by investing in education, by making it easier to build affordable housing, and by properly funding healthcare – especially primary healthcare – so that everybody – including Māori and Pacific people – can see a doctor when they are unwell and can get help to live a healthy lifestyle.”

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