Europeans placed at bottom of elective surgery waiting list

Stuff reports:

Māori and Pacifica waiting for elective surgery have been placed at the top of wait lists in the Wellington region.

Speaking at a Capital and Coast District Health Board meeting today, medical officer John Tait said the Ministry of Health bands people accepted for specialist treatment in a priority ranking.

People are given a score on their level of need and ability to benefit from treatment compared to other people.

“We’ve moved Māori and Pacifica to the top of the band,” he told the meeting.

This is a huge deal.

At present your eligibility for surgery is based on a score that takes into account your individual circumstances. How severe your condition is, how effective surgery might be, your age etc.

CCDHB has said that instead of relying on the actual clinical need, they will prioritise Maori and Pacifika which of course means European patients get demoted – even if they have a greater clinical need. They get punished for their skin colour basically.

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