8 July 2021
Heart health researchers, clinicians, first-responders, funders and planners gathered at a hui in Auckland to discuss how to achieve equitable heart health in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Manawataki : Fatu Fatu for ACCESS* hui was opened by Healthier Lives Chair Sir Jerry Mateparae who shared his own story.
“My experience and access to heart health care was not the case for many. I applaud all of those who have come today to address the gaps and barriers between evidence and action, to talk about what we know, and what we need to do to develop an action plan for greater equity in heart health in Aotearoa New Zealand,” Sir Jerry said.
Joining the Dots
The hui, held at Te Papa Ako o Tai Tonga, the University of Auckland South Auckland campus on 8 July, was designed to gather thoughts, share ideas and have open kōrero with many of those working in this area.
The Manawataki Fatu Fatu for ACCESS project is co-led by Associate Professor Matire Harwood and Dr Corina Grey from the University of Auckland, and jointly funded by Healthier Lives and the Heart Foundation. The project leaders acknowledge that much good work is already happening in heart health around the country, but say that the health system is still not joined up enough to make it equitable. Although life expectancy is increasing in Aotearoa with improved heart health, a stubborn gap remains between the life expectancy of Māori and Pacific peoples and others.
“We know how to treat cardiovascular disease but there are barriers to accessing treatment and technology,” say the research leaders.
An equity roadmap
The research team plans to develop an equity roadmap to eliminate barriers to accessing care for cardiovascular disease.
“This won’t be your typical roadmap,” says Dr Grey. “It will be guided by Māori and Pacific wisdom and ways of knowing and being. Our ancestors were brilliant navigators.”
Creative thinking for the heart health equity roadmap
Hui participants workshopped a series of questions. Their creative responses will contribute to the development of the equity roadmap. With restructuring of the New Zealand health system currently underway, there is now a tangible opportunity to improve heart health access and equity.
Read more about the Manawataki Fatu Fatu for ACCESS project.
*Māori and Pacific hearts in unison for Achieving Cardiovascular Care for Equity StudieS