MAS celebrates 100 years
MAS celebrates 100 years
The celebration is starting with a staff conference to be held this Thursday and Friday (6-7 May) and the HealthyPractice team will have limited availability to respond to your queries during this time. Email would be the best way to be in touch on these days and our response time might be delayed. We appreciate your understanding.
Back in 1921, four doctors in Napier met at one of their homes and decided to start an insurance company. We’re not entirely sure what their motivations were to take on these extra responsibilities on top of those that came with running a medical practice, but it’s likely that they wanted to bring down the high costs of running medical practices. Initially the mutual provided insurance cover for doctors for their motor cars, personal accidents and sickness, with the hope that it would extend to include fire risks.
The early 1920s were a time of change for New Zealand. Only a few years before, the trauma of the First World War was immediately followed by the Spanish flu pandemic. Our founders’ willingness to take on the work of setting up an insurance company was very much in keeping with the national drive to improve society in general and the health sector in particular, which saw the introduction of the Health Act in 1920.
Over the last hundred years MAS has continued to provide insurance and financial products to our members. Although we were founded by doctors, for doctors, we have gradually opened our doors to other professionals. What hasn’t changed, though, is our mutual status, which means we don’t need to make a profit for external shareholders but can focus on the interests of our Members instead.
In 2019 MAS became a charitable trust with the overwhelming support of its full members. Once Charitable status was granted the MAS Foundation was formed, to be a philanthropic organisation working to make a difference to the health of people in New Zealand, particularly those communities traditionally underserved by our health system.
The strategic focus of the foundation has developed, and the goal is now to create a New Zealand where every child born is considered a taonga and lives in a family and community environment that promotes equitable health and wellbeing outcomes.
To help achieve this goal, our priority is to support actions and underlying systems changes which promote:
- A focus on health equity.
- A first 1,000 days of life that is psychologically supported, nutritionally sound and free from harmful substances for both mother and infant.
- A childhood with optimal nutritional and oral health.
- Psychological wellbeing and positive sexual health for adolescents.
For more information on the MAS Foundation go to https://www.mas.co.nz/about-mas/mas-foundation/
If you are interested in becoming a MAS member go to https://www.mas.co.nz/
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