Wednesday , October 27 2021

New $ 38 million in funding for Maori health care providers’ Covid-19 response announced


The government has announced an additional $ 38 million to help Maori health care providers provide ongoing support to their communities during the Covid-19 response.

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Deputy Minister of Health Peeni Henare.
Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Deputy Health Minister Peeni Henare says the money exceeds $ 23 million in funding for Whānau Ora in connection with the coronavirus, announced earlier this month.

How it will be spent

  • $ 17 million for providers to tailor their services to support Covid-19’s response, while maintaining other essential health services
  • $ 14 million to help users access health services, drugs and hygiene products and provide greater scope for vaccination, testing and other health services in hard-to-reach areas
  • $ 3 million to ensure users have access to mental health and wellness services
  • $ 2 million to ensure suppliers have enough funding to manage the long queue for the response

Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson said another $ 2 million of the previous Covid-19 2021 Whānau Recovery Fund would be prioritized for Maori health care providers working directly with Te Puni Kōkiri.

Henare said that being Māori one of the most at-risk communities in Covid-19, it was “crucial to put more resources into our Maori health care providers at this time, especially with the increased risk posed by Delta and the current momentum. to increase Maori vaccination rates “.

He said Checkpoint the Maori vaccination rate for eligible Maori 12 years and older who had both doses was 25.4% as of Tuesday evening.

It didn’t compare well with those who weren’t Maori, he said.

“We know rates are falling behind … but we are encouraged that the numbers are starting to rise and we will do everything we can to make sure they continue to rise.”

Maori health providers were working hard on the deployment of vaccines and the government was there to support them, he said.

“There is clear evidence that Maori health providers are impacting our hard-to-reach communities and those who may be hesitant about the vaccine. It is important that they can continue this work with the funding and resources they need,” he said. .

“Our Maori health care providers have told us that they are under immense pressure with a growing demand for testing support, contact tracking, case management and vaccinations, while trying to keep up with the his other job.

“This funding ensures that our providers can continue to support their communities without running out or losing capacity … In addition to taking care of their physical needs, it is also important that we can access mental health support and to well-being “.

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