To improve the health outcomes for Māori; it is imperative that there is a shared understanding of health equity.
The World Health Organisation defines equity as the absence of avoidable or remediable differences among groups of people. The concept acknowledges that not only are differences in health status unfair and unjust, but they are also the result of differential access to the resources necessary for people to lead healthy lives.
Some gains have been made towards health equity, but this more to be done.
Pae ora is the Government’s vision for Māori. health; this holistic concept includes three interconnected elements –
• Mauri ora | healthy individuals – the importance of the individual
• Whānau ora | healthy families – supporting whānau to achieve maximum health and wellbeing
• Wai ora | healthy environments – having access to resources to live in environments that support and sustain a healthy life
The pathways for action contained in He Korowai Oranga form the foundation for Carlyle Medical Centre’s Māori Health Plan. The pathways are –
• Te Ara Tuatahi – Pathway 1: Development of whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori communities - This pathway acknowledges the need to foster conditions that build on the strengths and assets of whānau and encourage their health and wellbeing.
• Te Ara Tuarua – Pathway 2: Māori participation in the health and disability sector - This pathway supports Māori participation at all levels of the health and disability sector.
• Te Ara Tuatoru – Pathway 3: Effective health and disability services - This pathway acknowledges the need for timely, high-quality, effective and culturally appropriate health and disability services for Māori as consumers of health services.
• Te Ara Tuawhā – Pathway 4: Working across sectors - Everyone at all levels of the health system and wider social sector must work together to improve Māori health.