Revealed: Covid-19 funding for GPs is race based
The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union can reveal that COVID-19 support funding for general practice clinics was allocated significantly on the basis of enrolled patients’ ethnicities. Information obtained under the Official Information Act 1982 showed that organisations received $4.50 in funding per Māori or Pacific patient with any other ethnicities worth only $1.50 – only a third of the amount.
Elderly and individuals from low socio-economic areas were valued at the increased Māori/Pacific amount.
So much for the Government’s slogan ‘we’re all in this together’. Skin colour shouldn’t be the proxy for how much money the Government allocates for healthcare.
Covid-19 doesn’t spread to Māori and Pacific patients more than other patients. In fact, only 8% of cases in NZ involve someone of Maori ethnicity and 5% for patients of Pacific ethnicity. This is around half their share of the population so in fact they are less affected than other ethnicities, yet they get 200% more funding. This is putting wokeness ahead of public health.
Sometimes Māori and Pacific health is targeted because those communities are generally in low socioeconomic circumstances. But for GPs the Government has all of that socioeconomic data, and could have targeted the money on that basis.
There was also an alarming lack of transparency around this funding. In fact David Clark wheeled out the ‘we’re all in this together’ line in announcing the GP funding package. Had the Taxpayers’ Union not sought out clarification over how funding was distributed, this information would not have been available to the public. Increased demands on healthcare due to COVID-19 mean it is more important than ever that resource allocations are subject to public scrutiny.
Information response from the Office of the Director-General of Health: