The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (the College) is today celebrating seven new Māori GPs who have graduated their specialist training. However, with Māori GPs making up only 4.8 percent of the total pool of 145 new GPs, it’s not enough.
Māori are 16.5 percent of New Zealand’s population showing that we are a long way off population parity for indigenous people.
Dr Samantha Murton is the president of the College and says, “The College is committed to addressing health inequities in all communities and advocating to improve social determinants of health.
“Part of that is improving training and professional development programmes for our GPs to ensure they have the capacity and capability to improve Māori health but another part needs to be increasing the number of Māori choosing medicine and general practice as a career,” she says.
Dr Rachel Mackie is chair of Te Akoranga a Māui, the College’s Māori representative group and says, “Our new Māori GPs will work hard to care for their patients but will be doing that in a health system rife with inequity and disadvantage for our people.
“The health sector needs to focus on indigenous values if we’re going to make progress towards health equity and that means getting more Māori into medicine and then general practice training,” she says.
New Fellows of the College traditionally graduate in a special ceremony at the College’s annual conference. However, this year the conference and ceremony were cancelled because of COVID-19. The 2020 new GPs will have the opportunity to participate in a formal ceremony next year with the 2021 GP graduates.
The seven new Māori GPs are:
- Dr Claire Coddington (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa), Auckland
- Dr Kirsty Moore, Nelson-Marlborough
- Dr Susan Francis (Ngati Maru, Ngati Whanaunga, Nga Puhi), Otago
- Dr Georgie Richmond (Te Atiawa), Tairawhiti
- Dr Kathleen Going (Ngapuhi), Waikato
- Dr Daniel McIntosh (Te Atiawa)
- Dr Martin Mikaere (Ngati Pukenga ki Manaia), Waikato