Saturday, 6 June 2020

DHB funding decisions create division and resentment

A report that half of district health boards could prioritise Māori and Pasifika patients for some elective surgeries shows just how skewed the Government’s health priorities are,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“We’re in the middle of a public health crisis and the Labour Government is directing DHBs to officially single people out on race. This kind of identity politics would be wrong at any time, but is especially so now.

“The country is also approaching an election in which race is already an issue. Politicising health funding will further fuel racial bickering.

“DHBs shouldn’t be making medical decisions on political grounds. Priority should be based on clinical need and the time a patient has waited, not their race.

“First, it is impractical. How do you define Māori and Pasifika? What weight do DHBs place on race? Are they going to make sure every Māori and Pasifika person is treated before anyone else?

“It’s also lazy decision-making from the Government. Why not target people by actual need instead of racial category?

“People of different ethnic backgrounds have far more in common than anything dividing them. We should treat all humans equally because it is our common humanity that unites us. Racial profiling can only divide.

“It also creates serious resentment among other New Zealanders. It’s the last thing we need during a public health crisis.

“We should pull back from race-based decision-making. All New Zealanders should have equal rights under the law. After all, we have more in common than that which divides us.”