“Prime Minister Chris Hipkins told Mike Hosking this morning that “the healthcare system should be treating people equally,” but examples of race-based healthcare appear everywhere you look. If the Prime Minister was being honest when he said he wanted the system to be equal, then he has lost control of it,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.
“This Government is finished. They’ve injected co-governance into every aspect of policy and now the PM acts surprised when the bureaucracy responds with divisive, race-based initiatives. The only way for New Zealand to move on is to bring in a Government with ACT to change direction entirely.
“In the health space Labour has presided over:
- The implementation of a race-based Māori health authority
- Race used to prioritise surgical waitlists
- Giving prezzy cards exclusively to pregnant Māori women
- Pharmacy healthcare initiative only accessible to Māori and Pasifika
“Even a call to Healthline, New Zealand’s primary telehealth service, begins by asking patients’ ethnicity. a voice says “If you are Māori and would like to speak to a Māori clinician, please press 1. Alternatively, please stay on the line with Healthline who will triage your call.’”
“There is simply no justification for the public healthcare system assigning service based on ethnicity, nor for it to be indulging patients’ preferences for their clinician’s race. Is there any reason to believe that a Māori person calling Healthline is going to better engage with the healthcare system after having been racially singled out? People call healthline simply because they need medical assistance.
“The emphasis in health should be fitting services to every New Zealander. Our population is more diverse than just Māori and non-Māori, but you wouldn’t know it from this Government’s priorities.
“Chris Hipkins claiming he wants people to be treated equally is too little too late. He’s lost control.
“ACT will demand that the public service is colourblind, but highly focused on eliminating inequity. It should not lazily assume all Māori mothers need to be bribed to look after their pēpi, nor should it assume all non-Māori are less in need. Some are, some aren’t. ACT is opposed to racial discrimination because it’s a lazy and divisive way of treating people.”