28 October 2019
DR YVONNE ANDERSON
Liggins Institute, University of Auckland
Demedicalising health care across New Zealand
What started as a project about obesity and weight issues in children transformed into a larger programme of work to address the inequities faced by individuals and families accessing healthcare across New Zealand. These inequities particularly affect Māori, Pacific peoples and those from most deprived households.
Many inequities are still prevalent in developed worlds and often in our indigenous communities. Yvonne believes that this is in part because of the current approach to healthcare, which remains clinical and system-focused. Yvonne sees in her practice that this approach is failing to deliver the necessary level of care for certain groups within the diverse population.
Yvonne hopes to help adapt the healthcare system so that everyone has access to the care they need. By providing a demedicalised approach, that removes some of the judgment and stigma associated with certain conditions or disease, a more inclusive approach to healthcare can be achieved.
Yvonne’s current project focuses on children with weight issues, which causes substantial morbidity, mortality and cost. The prevalence of childhood obesity in many countries of the Pacific stands at 30%, with New Zealand having the 3rd highest child obesity prevalence in the OECD.