Te Pāti Māori Unveils Comprehensive Health Policy
In response to the systematic failure of the health system to adequately serve Māori communities, Te Pāti Māori today announced a suite of initiatives aimed at addressing health disparities and improving outcomes for Māori.
The party's rigorous policy includes increased funding for the Māori Health Authority, with plans to channel 25% of all health funding into this body. This move addresses the significant under-investment in Māori health, which currently sees Māori dying on average a decade earlier than non-Māori.
In a bold step towards ensuring affordable healthcare, the party promises free primary and dental care for all whānau earning less than $60,000 annually. To further enhance accessibility, medications will be delivered to the whānau whare at no cost for the same income group. These policies are expected to benefit over three million people in Aotearoa.
In an innovative move, a Māori Health Card will be issued to all Māori, linking health funding to the patient, not the service provider, thereby putting health services under the control of Māori patients.
Te Pāti Māori is calling for a $1 billion per annum investment in Health Workforce Development to address the current workforce crisis. Additionally, a $500 million per annum Kaupapa Māori Mental Health Service will be established, providing free mental health services in every community.
The party also proposes to lower the age for Māori cancer screening by 10 years, ensuring equal access to preventative services, and plans to increase funding for PHARMAC for improved access to new medicines and health care devices.
Finally, the establishment of a Māori Accident Compensation Authority is proposed, with 25% of all current ACC funding to be transferred to and administered by this new body, working closely with the Māori Health Authority.
"The health system has failed Māori," said Co-Leader, Debbie Ngarewa-Packer. "Our policies speak to our liberated truth. We're committed to a by Māori, for Māori, to Māori approach and our investment in Māori health reflects this."