16 Sep 2013

Swedish MP and paediatrician interested in whanau ora

6:30 am on 16 September 2013

A Swedish member of parliament says the whanau ora concept of family involvement in health care could come into use in his home country.

Anders Jonsson, a paediatrician, recently visited Opotiki in Eastern Bay of Plenty to study rural medicine.

Sweden has similar problems to New Zealand when it comes to health care, including a lack of doctors in remote areas.

Dr Jonsson said it was very interesting to see on his visit the whanau ora model that provides health care to the Maori population, because it contradicts what happens in Sweden.

He said when his patients turn 15 or 16 years old, he tells their parents that they can't come on the doctor's visit, and instead have to wait in the waiting room.

Dr Jonsson said it is interesting to see the powers of the family used to strengthen the healing process.