Brickbat: Medically Questionable


Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand, the nation's health ministry, has told surgeons theymust consider a patient's race and ethnicity when determining the order in which patients get surgery. The new system creates what is called the Equity Adjuster Score, under which people of Maori and Pacific Islander descent will get priority. The government says that race is just one factor the equity calculator will consider. Other factors include whether the patient is economically deprived, whether they live in a remote area, how long they have been on a wait list and how quickly the patient needs the surgery. But some doctors told local media that only medical factors, such as how urgently a patient needs surgery, should play a role in determining when a patient is treated.