ProCare reflects on progress made towards equitable health outcomes

Just over 12 months since launching its equity strategy, healthcare provider ProCare has made significant progress on its year one roadmap but recognises that this is just the beginning, and there is more work to be done.

In 2021, ProCare made a commitment to align to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and deliver key actions to help improve equity in healthcare in its ‘ProEquity’ strategy. This strategy came after extensive engagement with staff and wider stakeholder around key actions ProCare could take towards achieving more equitable outcomes.

The ProEquity Strategy covers key areas such as:
• Strategy
• Governance and Leadership
• Structure and People
• Partnerships with Mana Whenua
• People, Culture, Training and Policies
• Partnerships – whānau voice
• Service
• Reporting.

Bindi Nowell, Chief Executive at ProCare says: “Over the last year, we have made key strides in the strategy and direction of ProCare. We’ve listened to the feedback that came from engagement with stakeholders, and as a result developed integrated strategies for Māori and Pacific Health that weave in priorities for Te Tiriti o Waitangi alignment and equity.”

“The ProCare brand has been refreshed to better reflect the diverse communities we serve. The public website, vision, mission, purpose and values now put whānau at the centre of ProCare’s mahi and ensure alignment with Te Tiriti,” continues Nowell.

Mihi Blair, Acting Head of Equity at ProCare, says: “Achieving this plan requires a shared commitment and collective process across ProCare as well as building authentic and collaborative relationships with Māori, Pacific and the diverse population groups that make up Tāmaki Makaurau.

“We recognised there was a need for representation of Tangata Whenua in a decision-making capacity, so one key step we undertook was to appoint Sarah (Hera) Kinred (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei) as the Tangata Whenua representative on the ProCare Health Limited Board. This appointment is a critical step for ProCare, and Sarah’s leadership will be vital in shaping how the Board makes decisions.

“Earlier in the year we also launched a significant community initiative in Ara Hauora – our mobile health service. Ara Hauora is a family centred initiative, where a team of nurses and health coaches take mobile van services home to whānau who will benefit most through outreach,” continues Blair.

“ProCare has not only looked outwardly at how to serve our communities, but also internally and how our team can represent the communities they serve. As an organisation, we have focused on our people, culture, training and policies to ensure we give staff the knowledge and skills needed to confidently interact with all people,” she continues.

“We’ve launched the ihi app – a cultural confidence tool, implemented an anti-racism and unconscious bias policy, have launched the 'Achieving Equity for Pacific – A guide for General Practice' to support our network.

“Looking forward, we have a focus on increasing Māori and Pasifika workforce in primary care and also how we can support our network work work better with hard-to-reach whānau and we are currently developing a cultural competency training course call Te Pūheke (the flow) and a Pasifika app. While these actions are a great step forward for ProCare, we recognise we’re still very early on in the journey and we are committed to building on the progress made toward achieving equitable health outcomes for the people of Aotearoa,” concludes Blair.

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