Thanks for the interesting BPJ on Improving Māori Health.
Working in a practice with a larger percentage of Māori/Pacific peoples than Pakeha, I am beginning to believe
that one of the most effective ways to improve health outcomes is to have free medication - especially for the older
Their parents may make poor economic decisions, but this should not mean the children do not get their medication because
the caregiver has no money. We see it a few times per day. Even the adults often do not fill their scripts even though
the rapport with staff is good. Their priorities are different.
By the way, has anyone ever asked the Māori/ Pacific communities if they actually want to increase their average
life span or is it just another western model of feeling like we have achieved something?
GP, South Island
There are many reasons why patients do not fill prescriptions. While socioeconomic factors may be one barrier, effectiveness
of communication between the health practitioner and patient can also be significant.
He Korowai Oranga, the National Māori Health Strategy, encourages Māori to determine their own aspirations
and priorities for health and disability and provides mechanisms for ensuring these are taken into account in the planning
and delivery of services. Published discourse about Maori aspirations show that Maori want more access to health care,
more effective health care delivery, and better health outcomes. PHOs should consider establishing specific services
to address the identified needs of the Māori or Pacific peoples among their enrolled population. We encourage you
to raise this issue with your PHO and work with them to address it.
The evidence of disparities in health care is significant and the responsibility for achieving better outcomes is
clearly shared broadly across society. Bpac will continue to contribute through education, analysis and advice, and
we look forward to working with health practitioners who are similarly motivated to provide best practice health services
to their patients.