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Regionalization as an Opportunity for Meaningful Indigenous Participation in Healthcare: Comparing Canada and New Zealand

Author(s): Josée G. Lavoie | Amohia Frances Boulton | Laverne Gervais

Journal: International Indigenous Policy Journal
ISSN 1916-5781

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Indigenous | health care | Canada | New Zealand | governance | participation

In Canada and New Zealand, policies support Indigenous participation in the planning and delivery of community-based primary health services. However, these services represent only a fraction of the health services accessed by Indigenous peoples. In New Zealand, legislation enacted in 2000 introduced mechanisms to ensure that Māori have a voice in the decisions made by health boards. In Canada, neither policies nor legislation currently ensure that Aboriginal communities are represented in provincial health systems or regional health boards. The New Zealand experience shows that adding mechanisms of participation to legislation and policies creates opportunities for Māori and health boards to engage in discussions about how to best allocate resources to reduce disparities between Māori and non-Māori health outcomes. In Canada,this dialogue may not occur. Requiring that such mechanisms be created in all Canadian jurisdictions would establish meeting places for dialogue, and assist in closing policy and access gaps that remain.
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