The rising incidence of rheumatic fever has nothing to do with ‘families having a better understanding of the disease’ as the Health Minister wants us to believe but everything to do with his failure to address the root causes of it, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.
“It’s time Jonathan Coleman admitted to the real causes of rheumatic fever.
“They are poverty, overcrowding and poor quality housing. Everyone but the Minister appears to understand that.
“It is certainly encouraging that more cases are being detected, but the increase is statistically significant and that’s an indictment on the living conditions of too many Kiwi kids.
“The Government wants to reduce the incidence of rheumatic fever by two-thirds over the next year and a half.
“It won’t do it with hype and half-truths. It will only do it if it puts more effort into reducing overcrowding, addressing inequalities in household incomes, improving housing quality, and reducing discrepancies in access to primary care,” Annette King says.