A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says.
Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said it was time to rebalance the system by addressing and dealing with the root causes of poor health.
“Prevention and early intervention are far more cost effective than picking up the pieces down the track.
“Our eight priorities for ensuring all New Zealanders have affordable, accessible healthcare are:
· Reducing health inequalities
· Preventing and managing non-communicable diseases
· Primary health care
· Mental health
· Oral health
· Children’s health
· Older persons’ health
· Health workforce
Highlighting several issues Kiwis were concerned about, Annette King said Labour had already promised to implement a roll out of a national bowel screening programme and, in Government, would ensure frontline emergency ambulance services are maintained: “Having a responsive, well-resourced ambulance service is essential. However the provision of ambulance services hasn’t been reviewed since 2005.
“We will also undertake an independent review of clinical thresholds for elective surgery which have seen patients having to put up with more pain than ever, before they can access publicly-funded operations.
“Labour’s focus on equality, access, and fairness, and our commitment to the integrity of the public health system, along with the provision of tools, information and incentives for people to make good health decisions for themselves, will ensure New Zealand is a healthier nation for all,” Annette King said.