The National Hauora Coalition (NHC) welcomes the Health and Disability Sector Review’s interim report, released yesterday afternoon.
While many will focus on the report’s reflections on the undoubted complexity within the health and disability system, the NHC notes in particular the comments from Health and Disability Sector Review panel, led by Heather Simpson, that te Tiriti o Waitangi guaranteed Māori full rights and benefits as citizens of Aotearoa and yet, more than 80 years after the establishment of our public health system, outcomes for Māori are significantly poorer than for non-Māori.
“The findings of the Health and Disability Sector Review echo what the Waitangi Tribunal found in its Hauora report in July this year.” says Simon Royal, NHC Chief Executive.
“The Waitangi Tribunal saw the persistent inequities for Māori as evidence that the Crown was in breach of Treaty of Waitangi principles when it comes to primary care.
In fact the Tribunal noted ‘the primary health care system itself is not calibrated to address Māori Needs’, which is contrary to our rights as citizens”.
“A solution the Tribunal thought was worth exploring was an independent Māori hauora authority – and in its report the Tribunal recommended the claimants and the Crown worked together on a terms of reference for this authority by January 2020.
As one of the claimants, I support this wholeheartedly, and see it as a critical step to addressing the humanitarian crisis of Māori health”.
“We are looking now to the next report from the Health and Disability Sector Review panel, and hope that the terms of reference will be complete by then and are able to influence the panel as it considers the settings required for an effective, fit for purpose, equity focused health system that gives effect to te Tiriti”.