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Diversity presents unique health service challenges

Photo: Diversity presents unique health service challenges
The unique opportunities and challenges facing health and social service access and delivery for New Zealand’s increasingly diverse society will be discussed in Auckland next week.

By 2038 about one in five New Zealanders and one in three Aucklanders, will identify as Asian, up from about one in eight nationally and one in four Aucklanders in 2013 (figures from Statistics NZ).

In Auckland, almost 50 per cent of the population are Māori, Pacific, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American or African. And 44 per cent of people in the Auckland region were not born in New Zealand - where there are more than 200 ethnicities and 160 languages spoken.

Challenges faced by health and social services providers as they strive to improve the health outcomes and experiences of Asian and ethnic minority populations in New Zealand, will be discussed at an ‘International Asian and Ethnic Minority Health and Wellbeing Conference’ in Auckland next week.
The two day Conference on Tuesday and Wednesday next week (6 – 7 September) is hosted by the University of Auckland’s Centre for Asian and Ethnic Minority Health Research (CAHRE) and Waitemata District Health Board’s eCALD® Services, at the University’s Tāmaki Campus.

The 2016 CAHRE conference on ‘Working Together to Achieve Better Health Outcomes’, brings together health practitioners, service providers, service managers, policy makers, researchers, community leaders and students to share their knowledge and experiences.

The conference will highlight some of the challenges faced by health and social services providers as they strive to improve the health outcomes and experiences of Asian and ethnic minority populations in New Zealand.

It will also offer insights on initiatives designed to improve health and wellbeing for these populations, as well as projects that support New Zealand’s culturally diverse health workforce.

Opening speaker at the conference is Mai Chen, the managing partner of Chen Palmer Public and Employment Law Specialists, who will speak on ‘The need for a Super-diversity Framework for health services and policymaking’.

International and local speakers will present a wide variety of research and community initiatives addressing some of the current health issues and needs of the Asian and other ethnic minority communities in New Zealand.

The focus will be on the following core themes of maternal health and perinatal maternal mental health; the health and wellbeing of older people; primary health and community care; and cultural competency and workforce development.

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