28 Sep 2015

More support needed for Māori doctors - Te ORA

7:49 am on 28 September 2015


A Māori health professional says mentoring for young Māori doctors is limited and he wants to see that they get more support.

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Photo: 123rf.com

Chair of Te Ohu Rata O Aotearoa (Te ORA), the Māori Medical Practitioners Association, Rawiri Jansen, said last year 34 Māori graduated from the two medical schools, and the supply of Māori doctors was increasing.

The Medical Council also notes that this year, for the first time, the number of Māori students entering medical school is proportionate to the Māori population.

Dr Jansen said it was important that the medical profession worked together to ensure it supported the professional development of the increasing number of Māori medical practitioners.

"The mentoring that we have available now is somewhat limited so we have to be tactical and strategic about how we do it," he said.

"But it's really important that we're mindful of what we need to do and then get organised around that."

Rawiri Jansen of Ngāti Raukawa descent said besides the collegial support newly graduated Māori doctors would get as part of their training, they also needed help from people in the community.

"Young Māori doctors will be supported and mentored into their clinical specialities through the different colleges," he said.

"They will be mentored and supported in making contributions to Māori health gains and they will also be taking additional leadership roles for iwi and hapū.

"So, as long as we're mindful of all of that we [the community at large] should be responsible for making sure we are prepared to support young Māori doctors."

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