Health

Health inequalities set to grow in the South

The Southern Primary Health Organisation’s proposal to give hospital patients with a GP referral priority will further exacerbate growing inequalities in our health system, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.

“It used to be the case that you didn’t have to get out your cheque book to get into hospital. Sadly due to National’s underfunding of health in the South, this reality is changing.

Surgical mesh inquiry a must says Labour

Labour is calling on the Minister of Health to instigate an independent inquiry into the use of surgical mesh in New Zealand.

“Growing international concern and actions by other health regulators over complications involving this product should have set off alarm bells,” Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Thousands of women in the US and the UK have taken lawsuits against manufacturers of the mesh after suffering complications as a result of receiving implants.

Canterbury health services to get boost

Labour is to invest in Canterbury’s health system to help people dealing with the ongoing health impacts of the earthquakes and their aftermath.

“Nearly four years on and people in Canterbury are still struggling with the after effects of the quakes,” Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“We are hearing reports of increasing numbers of young people being on suicide watch and mental health providers struggling to cope with the extra demand.

Canterbury health services to get boost

Labour is to invest in Canterbury’s health system to help people dealing with the ongoing health impacts of the earthquakes and their aftermath.

“Nearly four years on and people in Canterbury are still struggling with the after effects of the quakes,” Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“We are hearing reports of increasing numbers of young people being on suicide watch and mental health providers struggling to cope with the extra demand.

Government must heed private lab testing warnings

The Health Minister must listen to warnings from medical professionals about the serious risks to services if laboratory testing is privatised, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

Capital Coast and Hutt Valley district health boards are looking to contract out lab tests currently run in house.

“Those at the front line of providing health services have every right to be concerned by this move.

“Our region is served by highly skilled lab professionals able to provide timely and quality services within the public health system.

Rheumatic fever swabbing won’t fix damp and crowded homes

The Government is throwing money at the bottom of the cliff by swabbing children’s sore throats for rheumatic fever without addressing the causes of the disease, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Detecting and treating rheumatic fever is important. But it fails to address the fact that many children develop rheumatic fever because they live in damp and overcrowded houses,” Annette King today told the Medical Council conference in Rotorua today.

Tragedy should lead to action in aged care

Labour is renewing calls for reform of the aged care sector following the tragic deaths of five Christchurch rest home residents.

The elderly women died following an outbreak of strep A at Bishop Selwyn Lifecare.  Another is in hospital in a critical condition.

 “While the Canterbury Health Board is working with the rest home owners to ensure other residents are safe, the incident will have left the families of those five women absolutely distraught,” Labour’s Aged Care spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway said.

Development contributions bill wasted opportunity

National’s proposed changes to the rules on development contributions would make little difference to housing affordability, and are yet another example of Housing Minister Nick Smith chasing a headline, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“The proposed changes are better than nothing, but that is a low bar.

Poison line petition resonates with public

A petition to save the 0800 Poison helpline has struck a chord with concerned parents, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.

The Ministry of Health plans to merge the national poisons helpline with other tele-health services.

“The petition went live on Monday night, the first 1000 signatures were gathered by Tuesday and a target of 2500 was easily reached on Wednesday.

“I am not surprised. The 0800 Poison Helpline is a trusted service.  Expert toxicologists are on the end of the line immediately.

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