A new report has found Māori youth aged between 15 and 18 years old three times more likely to die in the 30 days following major trauma than non-Māori in the same age group.
The Perioperative Mortality Review Committee (POMRC) is now calling for District Health Boards to conduct an in-depth review into all cases of major trauma resulting in hospitalisation.
POMRC member Dr Dick Ongley says the reviews must consider the role of implicit bias and institutional racism, after the report found Māori to be 37 per cent more likely than non-Māori to not receive an initial CT scan.
They were also 56 per cent more likely to die in the first 30 days following major trauma that did not involve serious traumatic brain injury.
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"There is a wide and established body of evidence about how unconscious bias and institutional racism in our health care system impacts Māori," Ongley said.
"Our report hopes to help those involved in the sector examine their own systems to improve trauma outcomes for Māori.
"Addressing this means linking trauma care to wider equity efforts in the sector, including educating providers and recognising how crucial equity is to providing good-quality health care."
Experts are calling for a national consensus guideline on prioritising CT scans for trauma cases to ensure unconscious bias and institutional racism do not result in inequitable health outcomes for Māori.
ACC is also called on to provide extra resources to enable the New Zealand Major Trauma Registry to collect data on people who die from major trauma at the site of injury or on the way to hospital.
The report recommends the reviews focus how appropriate and effective decisions about whether to transfer patients were, including cases of people with serious traumatic brain injury treated at non-neurological centres.
"We hope to help identify where the health sector can deliver better outcomes for Māori following major trauma."