The Ministry of Health has welcomed its latest commissioned research into the impacts of COVID-19.
The Impacts of COVID-19 report, compiled by Health Services Research Centre at Victoria University, focuses on Māori, Pacific peoples, people with lived experience of disability and those with ‘Long COVID’.
Chief Science Advisor Ian Town says the findings will be used to inform New Zealand’s ongoing response to the COVID pandemic and how we respond to future pandemics, especially for disadvantaged populations.
“It’s clear there’s no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to delivery of health services, and this is especially pronounced during a pandemic. This report highlights the importance of high-quality ethnicity data and approaches that are tailored to specific population groups, including better joined up social services and whānau support.
“The Government is committed to continuously lifting the performance of the health system and improving equity and outcomes for those communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
“The health sector reforms that came into effect on 1 July 2022 will provide a structural framework to support a smarter, fairer health system and the foundation for improving health outcomes and tackling inequity. Significant allocations were made in Budget 2022 to help deliver the transformation needed. New Zealand’s health data sharing capacity and capability has been strengthened and we are already seeing more community and prevention-based services, including outreach services tailored to local needs, as a result of this investment.
“Not only will the Impacts of COVID-19 report be useful for informing New Zealand’s ongoing pandemic response, but it will also provide broader learnings that can be applied to the health sector more generally, particularly around barriers to healthcare and cultural competency.
“Lead health agencies are working together to achieve ‘Healthy Futures’ and high-quality research, evidence and a health system driven by innovation will be essential to inform this.”