The co-author of a research paper on how Maori use the health system says women are going to the doctor to obtain prescriptions for their husbands or partners.
Waikato University's Kaupapa Maori Psychology Associate Professor Linda Nikora says the information helps fill in a significant gap in existing health research.
She says Maori women are presenting GPs with the medical symptoms of their male partners because Maori men don't like going to the doctor.
Dr Nikora says many of the women who spoke to health workers in focus group discussions knew about the risks of getting prescriptions on behalf of their partners and were worried about it.
But the cost of going to the doctor was repeatedly raised as a reason for providing GPs with proxy medical symptoms.
She says the information helps fill in a significant gap in existing health research.
The research paper entitled Maori Men and the Indirect Procurement and Sharing of Prescription Medication is being published this week in an international journal for indigenous people.