Concerns over open tender for problem gambling contracts

Next month contracts to combat
gambling addiction will be shared out amongst
health providers of the country. It’s the first time in ten years
the tender has gone out to all the Maori health services
in the country whose concerns continue to grow. It’s a problem that’s long
plagued Maori. A problem that these Maori
health services have been trying to combat
for some time. Some have no money to fill the cupboards and can’t send the kids
to school with lunch. We aren’t telling people to stop what they’re doing. We’re focusing on those
that go day and night. These 12 Maori health provides
from across the country have been fighting this demon. But for the first time
in ten years, the contracts that have allowed them to operate and deliver
their services, have been made contestable
for all providers. The Ministry of Health want alternative problem gambling services
than what is already offered. A move that concerns
these Maori services because of the outcomes
they’ve produced over the years. These contracts have produced
some positive outcomes and are similar to the services
provided by Dr Lance O’Sullivan, who recently won an award. It’s concerning because cancelling
those contracts means our employees may have
to seek new employment. Despite those concerns, Ministry of Health stats
show up until October 2012, more Maori had in fact
sought mainstream services, rather than Maori services. Each provider here
has applied for the contracts. Their fate will be known
in November. Kereama Wright, Te Karere.

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