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Poor service nauseates Middlemore patients

Dr Ashraf Chaudhary – papatoetoe-people-stand-dr-ashraf-choudhary-web

Recently I met a local doctor who made a sly comment saying that the Middlemore hospital is often referred to as “Muddlemore Hospital” by its health staff.

This is because the hospital is over-crowded, has long patient waiting lists, doctors and nurses are overworked, and for many patients, parking is a nightmare and expensive.

This reflects the state of affairs of health facilities in South Auckland, which generally represents a low socio-economic base in whole of Auckland.

Diabetes and cardio-vascular diseases are rampant due to obesity, lack of education and poverty in the region.

Asian health ignored

There is a slow recognition of Asian health issues within Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB) area.

Latest demographics suggest Indian community as the largest Asian grouping, with concentrations in Papatoetoe, Manukau, Manurewa, and further south. Chinese are concentrated in Howick and Botany suburbs.

There is little or no recognition of the true extent of some of the health issues and emerging diseases among Asian people in New Zealand. Language, cultural differences and lack of knowledge of NZ healthcare system are often quoted as barriers to receiving appropriate health care. Cultural differences and stigma associated with health issues, confidentiality and cost are also mentioned as barriers to receiving good health care.

Priority essential

There is a need to give high priority to Asian people’s health requirements. That requires improved competence of health professionals to deal with these emerging health issues particularly among our new residents.

One of the remedies for such health needs is to have people of Asian ethnicity at the governance level of our DHBs and at senior executive positions in our health systems.

This is the reason we have chosen high calibre and competent individuals to join our Labour candidates team for the forthcoming election of Board members of CMDHB. We have a range of expertise among our candidates ranging from medical, legal, research capabilities, policy making and community representation.

Collective response

Furthermore, I encourage voters to support Labour candidates as a team so that we can collectively respond to these emerging health issues. That can only happen if we have a majority at the decision-making of the health board. The so-called individual “independent candidates” cannot make any impact on their own at decision-making by the whole board of seven elected and four appointed members.

Voting for the CMDHB is by Single Transferable Vote (STV) system.

Please Rank Labour candidates, of your choice, by giving each candidate a different number between 1 and 7, Number 1 being the highest rank.

Traditionally, the voting percentage among Asian voters is low.

Therefore, please ensure prompt and early voting. Every vote counts!

Dr Ashraf Choudhary is a Labour candidate in the forthcoming election to the Counties Manukau District Health Board.

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