Every service within Te Whatu Ora should have 'Navigators' who are able to support and assist whaanau Maaori engage with the Western model of healthcare.
The role of a Navigator is to walk in the space between the Western health provider and the Maaori consumer, enabling and empowering the consumer to access the services they need, in the manner they need them - time, place, frequency, quality of engagement, ability to engage.
Navigators can come from any walk of life and either culture. Their primary skill must be to understand and be able to engage with and influence the health provider in order to further the interests and improve the outcomes for Maaori consumers.
Navigators should operate at every level of Te Whatu Ora, from on the ground assisting whaanau to attend appointments, to sitting at the policymakers table advocating for services and structures that proactively support Maaori wellbeing.
Why the contribution is important
Navigators are a tool by which the goal of equity for Maaori can be progressed.
Te Whatu Ora offers a healthcare service within the Western health model. In other words, it is a square, white box into which everyone must fit. If you have a health need, it must be met within the rigid framework of our health system.
In contrast, te ao Maaori is an amorphous shape which has form and substance but is not a square box. Maaori wellbeing does not have features immediately recognised by the Western health model. Trying to fit (or force) something of varying shape into the rigid white box of the health system just does not work. The system needs to become adaptable and accomodating of the shape of indigenous wellbeing and it needs to be able to meet the needs that are actually out there, rather than the needs the system has identified.
by AlisonG on February 03, 2023 at 01:06PM
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