Māori men and the indirect procurement and sharing of prescription medications

Māori men have higher rates of many diseases and lower life expectancy than other population groups in New Zealand. The general consensus is that these health inequalities are due to the inequitable distribution of the social determinants of health; for example, education, employment, income and housing, and were largely driven by colonization and the social and economic marginalization of Māori. Health care factors, including reluctance to consult doctors or late presentation, are part of this equation, but do not fully explain the disparities in health between Māori men and other population groups. As part of our ongoing work in this area, we draw on a focus group discussion with seven Māori community health workers to provide a preliminary analysis of how some Māori people access and use medications. Particular attention is given to the emergent practice of Māori women presenting to general practitioners (GPs) with proxy symptoms to obtain medications for their male partners. This practice exemplifies a range of strategies that some whānau (family) have developed to navigate the health system and overcome the reluctance of some men to engage with the medical profession. The practice raises issues relating to the nature of “primary” and “whānau” care, accessibility of medical services and medications, adherence to medication regimes and the dynamics of doctor–patient relations.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Hodgetts, D., Nikora, L. W., & Rua, M. (2011). Māori men and the indirect procurement and sharing of prescription medications. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, 7(2), 152-162.
Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga: New Zealand’s National Institute of Research Excellence in Māori Advancement and Development