“Te Whatu Ora has taken its racial separatism a step further and is now asking pharmacists to act as ethnic enforcers, providing extra services to people solely because of ethnicity. Where will this madness end?” Asks ACT’s Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“The Community Pharmacy Minor Ailments Service allows pharmacies in selected areas to consult and provide treatment aids for a range of ‘common, uncomplicated conditions which can be diagnosed and managed without medical intervention.’ The catch, eligibility for the service is based on race. The service is offered only to children under 14 (and their whānau if they have the same illness), Community Service Card holders, or Māori and Pacific people. In other words, if you’re over 14, don’t have a CSC and aren’t Māori or Pacific, you’re ineligible.

“What’s worse, Labour has made pharmacists the enforcers of their ideology by lumping them with the undesirable job of figuring out what ethnicity patients are. Guidance from Te Whatu Ora says ‘teams should consider how patient ethnicity can be determined in a sensitive manner to avoid difficult conversations for both the patient and your team.’ That is official Government guidance to healthcare professionals determining access to a service in 2023. Most pharmacists have entered the role to help their communities, Labour is now telling them to treat people differently based on their race.

“Asking pharmacists to racially profile their customers won’t fix anything. Rationing healthcare by race doesn’t address the causes of poor health, it’s just a sop to make Labour politicians feel like they’re doing something. The only thing race-based healthcare will deliver is resentment and division.

“Labour’s race-based provision of healthcare has gone far enough. The equity adjuster tool prioritises Māori and Pacific people on surgical waitlists in Auckland, access to certain medicines is determined by ethnicity, and now if you’re the wrong race you miss out on convenient consultation and treatment for minor conditions.

“ACT will address the causes of poor health outcomes, by investing in education, by making it easier to build affordable housing, and by properly funding healthcare – especially primary healthcare – so that everybody – including Māori and Pacific people – can see a doctor when they are unwell and can get help to live a healthy lifestyle.

“Labour never asked New Zealanders if they wanted access to public healthcare to be determined by ethnicity, and even now they won’t be open about the extent to which ethnicity determines access. ACT, on the other hand, will be direct with Kiwis – no ACT Government will use ethnicity to determine access to public healthcare.”

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