Response to COVID-19

Māori Doctors responds to Response COVID-19 

 Tēnā tātau katoa e tama mā, e hika mā,

 Kia kaha tātau 

It’s at this time of great consternation – for our whānau, for our friends and for our patients – that I wish us all the best in the days, weeks and months ahead. Along with others, Māori doctors are involved at every phase of this COVID-19 response – in disseminating messages, in public health planning, in organising hospital readiness, in the front line response and in our own homes keeping whānau as safe and as well as we can.

 We have all noted some parts of this COVID-19 situation that are particular to us as a Māori community: the impact upon our customary practices; the difficulty of being among the least well resourced communities in Aotearoa; the literacy levels that might not see us among the best informed; and the likelihood that outcomes will be worse among those we love. And for us as Māori doctors it is equally pertinent: the disproportionate burden that we will see in our practice(s); the lower level of resourcing for Māori services; the higher expectations that will be placed on you and the shape of your response to COVID-19; and and the likelihood of inequitable outcomes for Māori whānau that you are taking care of.

 All of us are being called upon to work actively and, on a daily basis, to fight this epidemic. You have seen many of your colleagues taking a public stand on many COVID-19 related issues including Papaarangi, Sue and Rawiri who are leading the Māori Pandemic Coordination Group, Te Rōpu Whakakaupapa Urutā, and countless others are following the lead and contributing to the effort. So, be kind to yourselves – find a sweet spot and spend some time in it – take a breather when you can!

Nō reira, kia kaha tātau, kia kaha ai te whakangāwaritanga o ēnei āhuatanga kei mua tonu i tō tātau hapori i tēnei wā. Ko ēra kōrero ēra, ‘kia kaha, kia maia’ – he mea rangona ke nei mai rāno, mai rāno – engari, he atu ētahi kōrero pai ake. Nō reira, koutou ko ngā tākuta Māori – kia kaha te mahi, kia kaha ake te manaaki i a koutou anō.

 Nāhaku noa nei

 David Tipene-Leach, Kaihautu

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