Review Identifies Room for Improvement

  • Tau Henare
Maori Affairs

The Minister of Maori Affairs, the Hon Tau Henare, welcomed the review of the Ministry of Health's internal processes for the provision of health services to Maori done by Te Puni Kokiri (Ministry of Maori Development).

The review, released today, concluded that the Ministry of Health had gone some way towards developing strategies and processes to promote Maori health gain and was able to demonstrate that it:

had clear objectives, expectations and strategies to promote Maori health gains;
collected a wide range of Maori data;
had developed a specialist Maori human resource capacity; and
sought to increase the capability of al staff in dealing with Maori health.
The areas that need improvement are:

to ensure that its strategies are put into practice;
strengthen its monitoring processes both internally and externally;
develop incentives to further improve Maori data; and
monitor its capability and ownership of Maori health gains among all staff.
Mr Henare said though the Ministry of Health had, as one of its strategic objectives, to promote improved outcomes for Maori, it was not enough.

"Objectives need to be achieved and that requires the full commitment of all staff in the Ministry of Health and more stringent monitoring of progress against objectives so that improved Maori health is a reality."

He recognised that the Ministry is only one part of the health sector and the Transitional Health Authority, as the funder of services, and health service providers, such as hospitals and general practitioners, also had a crucial role to play in ensuring the Government's objectives for Maori health are met.

"Since the release of the 1993 Maori Health Review the Ministry of Health has made considerable progress, primarily in establishing a strategic Maori health group, and identifying Maori health as a health gain priority," he said.

"This Coalition Government too recognises Maori health as a priority. This year the Government set up the Maori Provider Development Service to accelerate development of the Maori health and disability workforce and for the further development of Maori health providers.

"Also set up was the Maori development commission for health to, again, look at the disparities. So the review provides a focus of the Ministry of Health to build on existing achievement."

Mr Henare said it was important the two ministries worked together and the improvements recommended in the review are actioned.

A copy of the report can be obtained from TPK's head office by contacting: (04) 494 7179 and ask for Maira Daymond.