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Record for new Maori and Pacific doctors

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/11/2016

Maori and Pacific medical students have graduated in record numbers this year, the University of Auckland says.

They made up one fifth of the 215 new doctors from the university's November graduation.

Between Auckland and Otago universities, there have been a total of 70 Maori and 30 Pacific medical graduates in 2016, also a record.

Of the Auckland number, 28 identified as Maori, 14 as Pacific, and four as Maori and Pacific.

Dr Elana Curtis, from the university's Maori health research unit, says the figures reflects the increase in the intake of students under the Maori and Pacific Admission Scheme (MAPAS).

She say this is now averaging around 20 to 25 per cent of medical students per year, which which is closer to the population proportion for this age group.

MAPAS is part of the university's commitment to increasing the number of Maori and Pacific professionals in the health workforce to 10 per cent by 2020.

Maori and Pacific people make up 15 per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively of New Zealand's population.

But a Medical Council survey in 2014 showed just 3.2 per cent of New Zealand's health workforce was Maori and only 2 per cent was Pacific.

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