19 July 2022

This issue

  • Careers website live
  • Supplies for masks and RATs
  • Immunisation Register changes – Māori feedback needed
  • Immunisation Taskforce
  • Ao Mai te Rā – the anti-racism kaupapa

Career’s website – be part of the change

Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora careers website is now live. To view follow this link. The partnership between our organisations offer opportunities for those who want a career in health.
Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora are committed to being good employers and reflecting the communities we represent.

Supplies for masks and RAT

The eligibility requirement that peoples need to be symptomatic and/or live with a positive COVID-19 case to request RATs via the public supply RAT Requestor are being removed. This change is being made to make it easier to get RAT kits.

  • When people collect RATs from a collection centre, they should also be given face masks.
  • P2/N95 respirator masks will also be available for clinically vulnerable and high-risk individuals.
  • To request RATs click in this link or phone 0800 222 478 option 3.

Changes to access antiviral medication

The criteria to access antivirals has been widened to include those people:

  • Aged 75-years and older who test positive for COVID-19
  • Who have been previously admitted to an ICU directly because of COVID-19 and tested positive
  • If you are at risk for acute respiratory illnesses, you can get a prescription from your doctor before you get COVID-19. This means you will have the prescription ready to use if you become unwell.

You can get a prescription before you get COVID-19 if you:

  • are Māori or Pacific
  • have a pre-existing health condition
  • are immuno-compromised
  • are aged 65-years and older
  • are unvaccinated
  • have a disability

Aotearoa Immunisation Register (AIR) – Māori providers feedback needed

Work is underway to replace the National Immunisation Register (NIR) and the COVID19 Immunisation Register (CIR), with the Aotearoa Immunisation Register (AIR).  As the NIR which was commissioned in 2005 has reached the end of its technological life.

Key to the proposed change are the insights and learnings from both the CIR and NIR. The AIR working group are engaging with all parts of the sector to bring together these learnings to build the solution that will enable the immunisation programme.

The team are looking for representation from Māori community providers to give voice to their needs in the design of the solution; for example, input from smaller rural community providers as well as our larger providers.

If you are interested, please connect with michele.bristow@health.govt.nz

We aim to have a new front end capture portal by the end of September 2022 with the ability for providers to integrate in Q1 of 2023.

Immunisation Taskforce

Work on establishing the Immunisation Taskforce continues, with a Chair and Deputy Chair to be appointed shortly, and the first meeting due to take place the week after next.

By way of a reminder, the Immunisation Taskforce is about supporting regions and the Ministry of Health to uphold and reinforce Te Tiriti obligations and ensure there are suitable options for Māori immunisation. More specifically, it acts as an escalation point for issues slowing the delivery of winter flu, early childhood and MMR catch-up immunisations, and making decisions to resolve issues quickly wherever possible.

Now that the taskforce has been established, the first piece of work is to agree a national plan and set of priorities for immunisations. Without prejudging what will come out of this work, it’s clear that equity will be a major focus, and how the regions might best work together to improve outcomes for some of our most vulnerable communities.

There already is a set of recommendations to consider, in the form of the report attached to this Pānui. This report was led by Dr Owen Sinclair and looks at declining immunisation rates for tamariki Māori in the Northern region. It sets out a series of detailed recommendations for lifting these immunisations rates over the short-, medium- and long-terms and argues for a unified national approach to lifting tamariki immunisations rates overall. There will be a review of these recommendations, determine priorities and see how they fit in to our national plan, and we will of course update you as the programme develops.

Ao Mai te Rā – the anti-racism kaupapa

Last week MoH reached a milestone in their work to support the health sector to understand and address the harmful impacts of racism, with the launch of a video and podcast series they developed with Mahi Tahi Media as part of Ao Mai te Rā: the Anti-Racism Kaupapa.

Across Aotearoa, we know that racism creates avoidable and unfair inequities in health outcomes, particularly for Māori and Pacific peoples.

Ao Mai te Rā aims to humanise the issues and to prompt conversations that will generate change. The initiative involves a series of videos of Dr Hinemoa Elder talking with senior leaders from across the health and disability sector – who share their insights into the existence and impact of racism and how they promote a collective ownership and response to it.

This is profound and important mahi, take the time to watch the videos which are being shared on the MoH website and in social media. Also keep an eye out for more material that will help provide guidance and tools for change.

Feedback and queries contact: info@teakawhaiora.nz

Tamariki Maori Imms Report