Hutt Valley DHB has launched an ambitious goal for Māori health.
Te Pae Amorangi, the DHB’s Māori Health Strategy 2018-2027 has set nine years to achieve health equity for Māori.
Launched at Hutt Hospital in Lower Hutt on July 17, 2019, the strategy was developed by the DHB’s Māori health director Kerry Dougall.
“To put the goal in context, the average life expectancy for Māori men and women in the wider Wellington region is about seven years less than non-Māori respectively,” said Kerry
She wants to lift Māori health outcomes by working in close partnership with Māori communities and encouraging more Māori to take part in the health system.
“It’s also about protecting Māori cultural values. A key focus is on empowering Māori, and creating awareness of the challenges to health equity brought by institutional racism and the effects of colonisation.
“That’s one of our point of difference as a DHB. We haven’t said reduce. We’ve said eliminate inequity in nine years.”
Te Pae Amorangi has five focus areas, starting with dramatically increasing the number of Māori working at the health board.
About six per cent of staff are Māori – counting both full-time and part-time roles – while the Māori population of the Hutt Valley is 17 per cent.
“We want Māori to feel part of our DHB, in everything that we do, that they see themselves reflected through our services in a positive way.”
It’s important to have a health workforce that represents the community it’s serving, Kerry said.
Māori in the Hutt Valley make considerable contributions to the health sector. Māori organisations often lead the way in whanau-centred innovative approaches, Iwi contribute resources to support health providers and Māori professionals are critical to our health system’s success.
“We need everybody to be responsible for implementing this strategy. This is about the whole of the system, the whole community.
“We need positive disruption, we need to change the picture of what’s happening here and now.”
The other focus areas include organisational development, commissioning, mental health and addictions, the first 1000 days of a baby’s life.