Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Pharmac under the gun

Stuff 's editorial stance now is to inspect every institution from a grievance angle.

In the process their journalists are actually practising racism.

Pharmac has only 3 staff who identify as Maori. This is apparently "absolutely appalling" for a "...drug-buying agency vowing to prioritise Māori leadership and uphold the Treaty of Waitangi as a way to ensure better health outcomes for Māori."

The inequitable access by Maori to medicines is implicitly, at least partly,  the fault of Pharmac decisions. Therefore the existing Pharmac workforce doesn't care about Maori. That's racist thinking right there.

Pharmac is an agency tasked with making impartial and objective decisions about medicine funding as their very core task.

The 'representation argument' taken further would require that Pharmac address why only 32% of their staff are male. And less than 4 percent are Asian. But nobody is jumping up and down about those realities. (I note that one in five staff does not disclose their ethnicity which leads me to suspect they don't see the relevance. There may be Maori among them.)

BUT like the many arms of the public service, Pharmac are succumbing:

Pharmac was also focused on developing cultural competency across the organisation and ridding itself of “unconscious bias” recognising “systemic racism” was a key determinant of Māori health, Simpson said.

Simpson is the Pharmac's inaugural chief Māori advisor.

So not insubstantial sums from Pharmac's budget are already being spent for training when they should be used for medicines.

For Maori and anybody else who needs them.



Mark Wahlberg said...

I dont know what they're on about? according to the news I read the business of dispensing drugs is awash with well paid Maori.

Must be the "Fake News" I hear about.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Ouch!! I fell for it.

Jim Rose said...

The only priority is having the best people available to get the best bargains for drugs

Kiwi Dave said...

A very strange story indeed. Not a shred of evidence that Pharmac contributes to unequal health outcomes, that Pharmac employees are racially biased or incompetent, that specific drug purchases have favoured this or that group, or been wrong in some way. This is journalism? Yet Stuff wants me to pay this incompetent nonsense.

Kiwi Dave said...

I’ve just noticed that the author is a Senior Reporter. Good grief.

david said...

Isn't it the thing though? The people shouting "racist" are the ones who want to discriminate on the basis of race.