Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Health report reveals growing burden of racism

A new report released by the Ministry of Health has presented information on people’s experiences of racial discrimination in the past 12 months and over their lifetime.

The report Racial Discrimination 2011/12, 2016/17 and 2020/21 includes experience of ethnically motivated personal attack – physical or verbal – and experiences of unfair treatment in healthcare, employment or housing. It uses data from the New Zealand Health Survey and was prepared by Manatū Hauora – Ministry of Health, in recognition that racism is an important determinant of health that contributes to health inequities. Racial discrimination indicators are shown by ethnicity.

“This data provides valuable insights that will help us to uncover the impacts of racism on health and the achievement of health equity,” says Dean Rutherford, Deputy Director-General Evidence, Research and Innovation, Manatū Hauora.

“We are committed to creating an environment where all people can access the health care they need without fear of racial discrimination.

“We will use these insights to inform the work programmes we have underway to specifically address racism and discrimination, and through strategy development as we work with the health sector and other agencies more broadly on this important mahi.”

The report shows that the proportion of adults who experienced racial discrimination has been increasing, with around one in 14 adults experiencing racial discrimination in the 2020/21 year. Māori had the highest rate of racial discrimination in the past 12 months, followed by Asian and Pacific people. Ethnically motivated verbal abuse was the most common type of racial discrimination experienced by all ethnic groups.

People who experienced racial discrimination were more likely to have experienced psychological distress than people who did not experience racial discrimination. They also rated their health more poorly and had a higher unmet need for primary health care.

Find out more about Manatū Hauora work to address racism and discrimination:

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