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‘Institutional racism’ is blocking Pacific and Māori access to health care, doctor says

17 June 2019 Damian Rowe - Stuff

A doctor believes “institutional racism” in the health system is leading to worse outcomes for Pacific Island patients.

Invercargill-based general surgeon Dr George Ngaei​ said Pasifika people weren’t getting the same access to treatment once bowel cancer gets past the first stage of basic treatment.

Ngaei, an advocate for Pasifika health, is the chairman of the Pacific Advisory and Cultural Trust, which is a community health service.

The state of Māori health, described as a humanitarian crisis by one expert, is already under investigation by the Waitangi Tribunal.

Ngaei believes access to care is restricted due to the health system ignoring the cultural needs of Pacific peoples.

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