“…Maori children have some of the worst health outcomes in the country.
They make significantly fewer outpatient calls to hospitals, visit the doctor less, make fewer ACC claims, have fewer drugs prescribed, and undergo fewer lab tests than other groups.
Auckland University researchers say the health sector would “save” almost $25 million by doing nothing to improve the children’s health outcomes, calculated on an annual basis.
There is no suggestion those involved in the study advocate such a position, and Northland doctor Clair Mills, who worked on the study, said the research found the social and long-term economic implications of doing nothing would be a far greater burden on the country to carry.
“The facts around inequities in child health of Maori are not new.
It is the persistent ugly outcome of the whole way our society operates.
“But what we wanted to do was challenge the idea that addressing this costs too much – by looking at what it would cost us to do nothing.”
The public health physician said 67 Maori children died avoidable deaths every year – costing taxpayers $200 million annually.
More than half those deaths were in the first 12 months of a baby’s life.
“As a developed country we’re still seeing a situation where there are huge inequalities -
- and as a civilised country we should be ensuring the rights of children are respected,” she said…”
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