Reducing inequalities is one of the two primary purposes of the New Zealand Cancer Control Strategy and its associated Action Plan.
The cancer incidence and mortality rates for the Midland Cancer Network area, and in particular for Māori are higher than national rates. There is a need to reduce inequalities both in terms of reducing risk factors to prevent cancer and improving access to cancer services and treatment.
The network recognises that Māori are a priority group for improved health outcomes because of unequal access to services that leads to poorer health outcomes. Other groups also experience poorer health outcomes and these include Pacific peoples, Asian people, refugees and new migrants, low socioeconomic groups, and rural people.
In the Midland Cancer Network area:
· Māori have higher rates of cancer than non-Māori
· there is a higher rate of cancer mortality for Māori in the network area than for Māori nationally
· Māori have the highest rates of cancer mortality compared to other ethnicities, especially in Māori aged 65 and over
· malignant cancer is the second highest cause of death for Māori and the third highest for Pacific people
The reducing inequalities work programme objectives are to:
· ensure programmes and services are accessible to Māori and Pacific people across the cancer care continuum
· identify and focus on regional inequality priorities and initiatives
· ensure all network projects include focus on inequalities