Northland GP urges health board to eradicate institutional racism
A Northland GP is urging the district health board to be honest about institutional racism in its health services and stamp it out.
Kyle Eggleton, who works for Māori health provider Ki A Ora Ngātiwai, said systemic bias was a factor in disastrous Māori health statistics.
Dr Eggleton said he audited himself for bias when he worked in general practice and thought he’d be squeaky clean.
But he found he was much less likely to prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs to Māori patients than to Pākehā.
“I came to the conclusion that I was making assumptions about people. So I would think ‘well you’re less likely to take your medications because you’re Māori’ – and that was a false thought.
“We have to challenge our own thinking in order to change our behaviours.”
The same sort of false thinking lurked in the DHB systems, he said.