Health

Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up

Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.

“Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive substances in a public place, similar to the liquor bans that many communities have had in place for years.

“If it’s not okay to drink alcohol on the streets why should it be okay to use other drugs?

Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts.

“Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month, die from it.

“As Minister of Health in 2008 I pushed for the nationwide roll out of bowel cancer screening. Since then National has dragged the chain.

Bowel Screening

Policy Highlights

  • Labour will roll out a national bowel cancer screening programme starting with the Southern and Waikato District Health Boards from 2015. The Waitemata pilot will be made permanent.
  • A nationwide screening programme can result in at least a 15% reduction in the death rate and can prevent 180 deaths a year.
  • We will commence a nationwide roll out in our first term of government.
  • We will invest in training, recruitment, and infrastructure where necessary to ensure an effective national bowel cancer screening programme.

Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues

The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Mr Ryall uses all manner of explanations in his repeated attempts to justify cutbacks to district health boards’ budgets and services.

Bungled law behind public backlash over legal highs

~~The public backlash against the Government’s attempt to regulate legal highs was inevitable after it bungled the implementation of the Psychoactive Substances Act, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says.

Lymphoedema sufferers deserve better

Treatment and services for those suffering from Lymphoedema are inconsistent, inequitable and depend on where you live in New Zealand, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King has told the opening of the 10th Australasian Lymphology Association Conference in Auckland today.

Lymphoedema is a condition arising from damaged or incorrectly formed lymphatic vessels or nodes. The most common form comes as a result of some cancer treatments following radiotherapy, particularly for breast cancer.

Ryall in denial over staffing shortages

Tony Ryall only has to look at the list of current vacancies at Waikato DHB to see a staffing shortage there hasn’t been addressed at all, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“While a routine certification audit found Waikato was at high risk of a staff shortage, Mr Ryall claims that is no longer the case and has been addressed.

“He is clearly in denial. As of today the DHB is advertising almost 60 vacancies on its website, including one for a specialist in rehabilitation medicine – classified as ‘urgent’. They are even advertising for a chief executive.

DHBs caught between Ryall and a hard place

Budget problems at Auckland are the direct result of Health Minister Tony Ryall’s crippling expectations on the country’s district health boards, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Every year the Minister sends DHBs a letter directing them to do more with less. The issues in Auckland are not isolated ones.

“Every health board around the country is struggling to meet Government targets and priorities. That’s showing up in cuts to vital surgery, longer waiting times, staff vacancies not being filled and cuts to services for children and the elderly.

Govt response timid, arrogant, extremely disappointing

The Government’s response to recommendations from Parliament’s Health Select Committee is nothing better than a two-fingered salute to two years of hard work, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.
“The committee’s report – which contained 130 recommendations – was positive and forward-thinking. It deserved far more than the ‘thanks, but we know better’ reception it received.

Health costs adding to living pressures

If Tony Ryall needs any evidence of why increasing numbers of people are turning up to emergency departments rather than going to their GP then he has it in new figures that reveal the cost of going to a doctor has leapt by 24 per cent since National took office , Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Statistics New Zealand’s New Zealand in Profile 2014 report shows the average cost for someone to see a general practitioner GP has gone up almost five per cent a year, or 24 per cent, since 2008.

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