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LINDSAY MITCHELL: More racial discrimination looming in the health sector

FREE cervical screening will be rolled out from September this year.


Free, that is, to Maori and Pacific women (or to use Te Whatu Ora’s terminology, “people with a cervix”), those with a community services card, and those who have never been screened or not within the last five years.


Te Whatu Ora claims the new initiative is about improving access.


Yes, the rates of cervical screening are lower among Maori and Pacific but the same is true of Asian women. If targeting by race is to achieve equity, why omit Asian women from the free service? In any case, while NZ European women have the highest screening rate, in absolute numbers they still make up the largest group of non-screened.


Alternatively, if preferential treatment is simply to satisfy another new-found Treaty of Waitangi principle, why are Pacific women included?


In practice, Maori and Pacific women who can afford and have regularly used the screening service will be switched to the free programme while other ethnic groups will continue to pay. That’s certainly not equitable.


The truth is many women put off testing due to discomfit, inconvenience or fear of cancer. The new self-tests will hopefully remove some of these barriers, but they should either be free for all or a cost for all. Analysing their take-up will be confused by varying accessibility.


Making Maori and Pacific ethnicity a condition for free eligibility cannot be justified on any sound basis. A publicly funded health system can never guarantee equal outcomes, but it can do its utmost to offer equal opportunity.


Prime Minister Chris Hipkins recently took a step back when the public reacted adversely to the use of ethnicity to decide priority for surgery saying he would get the Health Minister to “make sure there’s no discrimination.”


But Te Whatu Ora just steamrolls on with exclusionary policies based on race. There is no other name for this approach than discrimination.



Lindsay Mitchell blogs here

2,995 views111 comments

111 commentaires


What will happen if one of these people with a cervix cannot find it - will that be treated too. There is nothing so stupid that a Government will not try to repair it!

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Lesley
Lesley
12 juil. 2023

Back in 2009 it was reported that the National Cervical Screening Programme decided that a priority group of women would be entitled to free smears including Maori, Pacific and Asian women, women over 30 years who have never had a smear and women over 30 years who have not had a smear for five years.


The latest June 2023 update from the program states:

“There has been no reduction in our focus on supporting the health of Asian women through cervical screening. They continue to be a priority given there are a number who remain either under screened or not screened. This is why we are continuing to target them (and others) through a number of health promotion and communication…


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En réponse à

It is improving but you have identified the problem. It hasn’t been doing it’s utmost to offer equal opportunity, for example in the past what policies or changes habe been implemented in regard to what Māori would prefer in a health system?

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Humans are at the top of the evolution scale because they have the ability to think and reason, I dont give a packet of jelly beans if some choose not to, but I resent having to pay for their stupidity.

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This stupid racial business has got to stop! For a start give it a proper English name that everyone can understand.


If certain groups are underrepresented by being tested maybe the answer is that less of them show up when they need to. It is called self-responsibility and if you don't turn up for preventative screening, they you only have one person to blame! To make excuses is pathetic.


Too much Nanny State sucks out people's willingness to act responsibly! It just encourages laziness!

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Lesley
Lesley
12 juil. 2023
En réponse à

Why do you assume that less in the underrepresented group don’t turn up when they need to? Lindsay isn’t making excuses for them, but if they don’t turn up, that’s the very trigger to invest more resources into finding out the reasons don’t you think? The alternative is to say, too bad for you, it’s your own fault, and then spend thousands more treating them for cervical cancer further down the track.

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winder44
winder44
11 juil. 2023

"I have just watched Lizz Gunn outlining the policies of the new political party New Zealand Loyal. It is the sanest message that I have heard in a very long time, like breath of fresh air and certainly a game changer. Inter-alia, she proposes to reverse every racist policy, restore the democratic position of the people and dismiss any trend to curtailing free-speech and the promotion of censorship. I urge you to watch it through to the end – 38 minutes."

https://nzloyal.org.nz/


I thought, as I am on holiday in Georgia, USA. Beautiful summers day with 34 degree temperature. I came inside for a cool down and checked lindsay Mitchell's post

A comment by shinerw caught my eye with …


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BAC
BAC
12 juil. 2023
En réponse à

They didn't start from nothing, 90 odd days out from an election.

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