Maori Party leader, Tariana Turia, wants the Labour government to reinstate medical scholarships for Maori and Pacific Island students. Currently about two percent of GPs are Maori and 1.2 percent are Pacific Islanders.
Mrs Turia says the scholarships that were abolished under the so-called race-based policy review need to be reinstated. She adds that there are higher expectations for GPs working in Maori and Pacific Island communities because their populations are less healthy.
If positions at medical school are limited, that means that for every extra Maori or Pacific Islander admitted, someone else must miss out. It means that at a non Maori or Pacific Islander may have higher grades but still be excluded, solely because of their ethnicity.
If my family is being treated by a GP, I want the most skilled person available. I do not some second grader, who scraped into med school because their ancestors came from a certain location.
If Ms Turia wants more Maori and Pacific Island doctors she should be concentrating on freeing up primary and secondary education, not imposing Apartheid like quotas on medical schools.