10 Dec 2012

Maori/Pacific children face stark health differences

8:06 pm on 10 December 2012

A paediatrics researcher says a far more comprehensive approach is needed to reduce the stark health inequalities between Maori and Pacific children and other young people in New Zealand.

Head of Paediatrics at Auckland University's School of Medicine, Professor Innes Asher, is the health spokesperson for the Child Poverty Action Group.

She says hospital admission rates for Maori and Pacific children with preventable diseases, are getting worse not better.

She says the latest data from the Social Health Monitor shows that last year for every 100 European children hospitalised, there were 167 Maori children and 251 Pacific children.

However in 2001 the difference between the number of European, Maori and Pacific children who ended up in hospital with preventable diseases was not as great.

Professor Asher says the Government needs to make more effort and increase the investment in children as well as providing greater support for families receiving benefits.