Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa, Māori Medical Practitioners Association (Te ORA) – Media Release
The Kaihautū/Chairperson and Board of Te ORA, express faith in the direction that Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā are advocating for this phase of the response to COVID-19. All these experts and front-line doctors are Te ORA members and we stand by their advice and leadership.
The low rates of vaccination among Māori and Pasifika communities are particualrly concerning and when over-crowded housing, poor access to primary health care, and higher co-morbidity rates are considered, these rates are potentially diasterous.
Te ORA urges whānau Māori to take the lockdown absolutely seriously and to get tested for symptoms or contact with ‘locations of interest’.
Te ORA urges local DHBs to prioritise Māori and Pasifika whānau by:
- Creating maximium opportunities for whānau to be vaccinated together – and opportunistically without bookings
- De-prioritising second vaccinations shots and creating more opportunity for increase of those with at least the first shot
- Use versatile pop-up vaccination centres, with whānau friendly facing staff and creating priority for Māori and Pasifika patients – particularly the elderly and those with co-mordities
Te ORA has faith in the Governments want to do the right thing by Māori and Pasifika communities – but it urges the Government that ‘fixing’ the present inequity in coverage will take a public declaration of Māori and Pasifika vaccination priority and allocation of serious resource to do this well.
Professor David Tipene-Leach
Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa, Māori Medical Practitioners Association