Maori Doctors on the Rise

The Medical Council is confident New Zealand is on track for the percentage of Maori doctors to reflect the proportion of Maori in the general population.

Releasing the New Zealand Medical Workforce in 2015 Survey, council chair Andrew says a major highlight is that the proportion of house officers identifying themselves as Maori increased from 5.4 to 6.1 percent during the year.

While the proportion of Maori doctors for the workforce as a whole is still relatively low compared to the 15 percent of Maori in the general population, a record number of Maori and Pasifika doctors graduated from both New Zealand medical schools in 2016.

At the University of Auckland the Maori and Pasifika medical students now average about 20 to 25 percent of the total, which is closer to the population proportion for this age group.

Mr Connolly says the potential increase in Maori doctors has to be good for both Maori and the country, as familiarity with patients’ cultural heritage has been shown to be associated with improved patient care.

- Waatea News