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Submissions called for on Notifiable Diseases

Submissions called for on Notifiable Diseases and Conditions discussion document

Submissions are sought on a discussion paper reviewing the list of notifiable diseases and conditions in New Zealand.

The discussion document has been developed as part of the Review of Notifiable Diseases and Conditions Schedules project to review and update the lists of notifiable diseases contained in the first and second schedules of the Health Act 1956.

Director of Public Health Dr Colin Tukuitonga said the purpose of the review was to provide a core list of notifiable diseases and conditions that could be carried over into new public health legislation.

"We want to ensure that the lists of notifiable diseases and conditions enable the collection of information on trends that is accurate, timely, relevant and accessible to end users."

Better information means health authorities are more able to predict and plan for infectious diseases, which will ultimately allow for better protection of all New Zealanders from these diseases.

Following consultation the Ministry of Health expects that it will be able to identify what would constitute an appropriate notification regime that is possible under current law.

It also aims to identify what that notification regime would look like and how it would function assuming that changes are made to the current legislative regime over the next few years which would, for example, allow a greater ranger of notifiers and conditions, and allow for a larger range of people to be notified.

In preparing the discussion document the Ministry convened an external reference group of representatives from various health sector agencies and interest groups to provide advice.

The discussion paper identifies a number of diseases which require additional sector debate before recommendations to add or remove them from the notifiable diseases schedules can be made.

These diseases are acute gastroenteritis, hepatitis C, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, human immunodeficiency virus, campylobacteriosis and sexually transmitted infections.

The Ministry feels there needs to be informed public consultation on the proposals and welcomes submissions from any member of the public.

The report is available on the Ministry's website Submissions close on June 30.

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