Major event this week to help encourage rangatahi into health - (Archived)
Monday 12 August 2019 -Major event this week to help encourage rangatahi into health

Monday 12 August 2019

Major health education event to help encourage rangatahi into health

A major education event being held in Rotorua on Wednesday 14 August, Hauora Kura Pathway, is specifically aimed at Māori rangatahi interested in pursuing a career in health.

A range of Māori health professionals from Lakes DHB will help to support the day at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

Kia Ora Hauora is a national Māori workforce development programme which aims to increase the number of Māori working in the New Zealand health sector.

The Hauora Kura Pathway event is an important step in the joint efforts of Kia Ora Hauora and Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology to address the poor health outcomes for Māori living in the central North Island.

The region has some of the country’s worst Māori health statistics and until earlier this year anyone wanting to start a clinical career in health had to move to out of the region to do so.

In June, however Toi Ohomai introduced a Diploma in Health Science, which is the academic equivalent of completing year one of a Bachelor of Health Science degree.  This means students can now stay in the region while they undertake their first year of study, they don’t have the expense or upheaval of relocating while they make the transition to higher learning.

Growing the Māori health workforce locally is an important step towards better health outcomes for Māori.

To support the diploma Toi Ohomai has also developed with Secondary Tertiary Programmes a Year 12 programme called Tikanga Hauora and a Year 13 programme called Oranga Tangata which prepare secondary students and gives them priority to enter the diploma course.

The programmes are delivered in both te reo Māori for the region’s Kura Kaupapa and Kura-a-Iwi and bilingually for mainstream school students, under the umbrella of the Trades Academy provision for Toi Ohomai. Currently 28 Māori students across Years 12 and 13 are engaged in the programmes and a good percentage are expected to begin the diploma next year.

Toi Ohomai is also talking to universities about diploma graduates gaining entrance into clinical and non-clinical pathways when they choose to continue their study towards a degree. This will help create a seamless pipeline for health workforce outcomes.

Lianne Kohere, Pou Manukura Kia Ora Hauora Midland Programme Facilitator, says the main focus of the day will be to give Māori rangatahi a taste of the health sector and get them thinking about career pathways and the subjects they need to study to achieve their goals.

Lianne Kohere says the number of Māori working in the health sector needs to increase significantly to meet the needs of the nation’s rapidly changing population and demographics.

“It’s great to be able to support the work Toi Ohomai is doing to create greater opportunities in this region for more Māori to enter the health sector. Equity in the Māori health workforce, whether they enter clinical roles such as doctors and nurses or non-clinical roles such as administrative support or health promoter, will ultimately help to improve Māori health outcomes,” says Lianne.

Rangatahi from years 11, 12 and 13 will be welcomed to Toi Ohomai before starting a full day of interactive activities introducing them to different aspects of the health sector.  Activities will include a hands-on introduction to CPR and a session with student doctors using stethoscopes and learning about knee reflexology alongside a clinical pharmacist focused on medications.  Rangatahi will also engage with physiotherapists and occupational therapists as well as a tour of an ambulance and a mobile dental van where they’ll learn about oral health.

“It’s very exciting for Māori to be working with Māori and creating innovative solutions to Māori health issues. Collectively we all have a part to play by focussing attention on recruiting, retaining and revitalising the Māori health workforce,” says Lianne.