Whanau ora health needs assessed

19 April 2012

“A Whanau Ora health needs assessment undertaken by the Taranaki DHB of Maori living in Taranaki will be invaluable in planning how to improve the health of Maori living in Taranaki” says DHB Chief Advisor Maori Health, Ngawai Henare.

“Improving Maori health and contributing to Whanau Ora for Maori living in Taranaki are priorities for the Taranaki DHB,” said Ms Henare.

“The report demonstrates that prioritisation of Maori health by Taranaki DHB is crucial due to the unmet health needs for Maori and avoidable ethnic inequalities in health and access to health services.“

Dr Mihi Ratima and Becky Jenkins co-authored the report which was presented to the Taranaki District Health Board at the last meeting.

“This health needs assessment provides a systematic method to assess the health needs of Maori living in Taranaki. It is the first time Taranaki DHB has carried out a health needs assessment specific to Maori, and the first time any DHB has used a Whanau Ora framework in this way to identify unmet health and healthcare needs for Maori.” said Dr Ratima.

“The report provides compelling evidence that much more needs to be done to improve access to health services at all levels for Maori in the Taranaki region, particularly at the primary health care level and in terms of Whanau Ora oriented service provision. We have known this anecdotally for some time but what this health needs assessment does is systematically demonstrate where the gaps are so planning can focus on high priority areas where we can make a real difference. Key areas for action include continuing to strengthen the capacity and capability of Maori health providers and the Maori health workforce, and further work to address priority health conditions – diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, breast cancer, respiratory disease, oral health, mental health and disability. Health promotion and preventative care is particularly important in relation to smoking, alcohol and drug issues, breastfeeding, immunisation, breast screening and cervical screening. Our intention is that the Whanau Ora HNA be used by health providers and intersectoral partners to inform priority setting and action to support the achievement of Whanau Ora for Maori living in Taranaki.”

The full report is available on the www.tdhb.org.nz website. Dr Ratima is available to answer any questions on the report.

For more information please call
Sue Carrington
Media Adviser
Ph 021 367 789

Last updated: Thursday, April 19, 2012

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