Report details Maori Health in Canterbury

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A new report provides the first comprehensive picture into the health of Maori in Canterbury and will be used by the Canterbury District Health Board in its future health services planning.

The completion of the report, Hauora Waitaha 1 A Health Profile for Maori in Canterbury, which was presented to todays board meeting, was a key target in CDHBs District Annual Plan last year. It was compiled by Dr Matthew Reid, a public health registrar in the CDHBs Community and Public Health Division and has been endorsed by Manawhenua ki Waitaha.

The report will help the CDHB to see what areas of Maori health are a priority and to ensure the services being provided across the sector are meeting Maori needs effectively. It has recently been used in the CDHBs submission to the Maori Affairs Select Committee on the consequences of tobacco use among Maori.

Executive Director of Maori and Pacific Health Hector Matthews said he hoped the findings in the report could be linked to much of the work currently being done across the health sector to improve access to health services for Canterbury people, such as the Better, Sooner, More Convenient project, which is being implemented in primary care.

A lot of work has gone into this report and I am very pleased with the amount of information it provides. It will certainly help to give us a steer on what our priorities need to be.

The report looks at a number of social and health indicators including smoking rates, hospitalisation rates, rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes and oral health.

The overall picture that emerges is that for a number of health indicators Maori in Canterbury, which make up 7.2% of the regions population, are in a better position than Maori nationally but in a worse position than non-M?ori in Canterbury.

Key findings include:

  • ?The Canterbury population is relatively socioeconomically advantaged compared to all of New Zealand, However, in Canterbury, more Maori than non-Maori live in areas with higher deprivation.
  • ?In Canterbury, more Maori over 15 years old smoke than non-Maori. This is especially true for females and for those aged 15 to 24 years old. However, fewer Maori in Canterbury smoke than Maori nationally.
  • The overall rate of admission to hospital is lower for Maori than non-Maori in Canterbury, in contrast to a higher rate for Maori than non-Maori nationally. Maori in Canterbury also have lower rates of admission to hospital than Maori nationally, both overall and for every major cause, including pregnancy and childbirth, respiratory disease and mental illness.
  • Death rates from ischaemic heart disease is higher for Maori in Canterbury than non-Maori but there is no difference in the rates of admission, which suggest an area of unmet need in the treatment of the disease.
  • The number of Maori diagnosed with cancer is lower for Maori in Canterbury than for non-Maori but the death rate is higher. Cancer rates among Maori are lower compared to the rest of the country.
  • The rate of admission to hospital for type 2 diabetes is more than two and a half times higher for Maori in Canterbury than for non-Maori, while the rate of death is more than five and a half times higher for Maori. These rates for Maori in Canterbury are lower than for Maori nationally. The rates of long term complications from diabetes (kidney failure and leg/foot/toe amputations) are two to five times higher respectively for Maori than non-Maori in Canterbury.
  • ?Maori children in Canterbury have worse oral health (more decayed, missing or filled teeth) than non-Maori in Canterbury and worse oral health than Maori living in fluoridated areas of the country. Maori children in Canterbury have better oral health than Maori living in other non-fluoridated areas nationally.

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