Twenty hauora Māori partners have been funded $6.2 million to deliver locally designed cancer care coordination services that aim to improve Māori access to screening and specialist services and to improve cancer survival rates.

Te Aka Whai Ora Maiaka Tau Piringa, Deputy Chief Executive, Service Development Jade Sewell says cancer care inequities exist in multiple cancer services throughout Aotearoa, for example, Māori are less likely than non-Māori to receive curative cancer surgery.

“With this new funding, our goal is to improve equity for whānau in cancer care. Our communities and whānau need consistently accessible, supported, and prioritised cancer services to reduce the devastating effects of cancer,” says Jade.

Funded services aim to improve cancer outcomes from early detection and treatment, reducing delays for those receiving cancer care, and improving survival rates following elective cancer surgery, and palliative care.

“Increased access to ao Māori-focused information and education resources on cancer prevention, screening and primary and secondary care is pivotal, as is support for whānau when they receive a diagnosis.

“Cancer care coordination services can play a significant role in reducing the initial trauma of diagnosis, can help to increase the likelihood that someone will successfully complete their cancer treatment, and improve the transition to survivorship,” says Jade.

This investment is aligned with the actions in Te Pae Tata Interim New Zealand Health Plan 2022 for cancer support services and is for 2022/23 and 2023/24 financial years.

Te Aka Whai Ora is working with Te Aho o Te Kahu and Hei Āhuru Mōwai Māori Cancer Leadership Aotearoa to support hauora Māori partners to implement cancer care coordination solutions and initiatives in their area, and to deliver equitable, high-quality cancer care services that everyone can access.