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More Evidence Supporting Need For Health Changes

More Evidence Supporting The Need For Health Changes

Health Minister Annette King said the results of a report into the health status of people from lower socio-economic groups provides further evidence that people in deprived neighbourhoods are often robbed of the opportunity of good health.

"Only last month the results of a case control study investigating potential risk factors of meningococal disease confirmed a link between the disease and poor housing and overcrowded living conditions.

"Today, we have the results of yet another report, which confirms that in all age, gender and ethnic groups, people living in deprived neighbourhoods have shorter life expectancies and higher hospitalisation rates than those from more affluent areas."

Mrs King was commenting on a Ministry of Health commissioned report, Social Inequalities in Health:1999, which highlights the health-related quality of life people from different socio economic groups experience.

"I believe the findings in this report clearly demonstrate the need for an inter-sectoral approach to developing a healthier New Zealand, taking into account issues of housing, welfare and environmental health, to mention a few."

"Better health services alone will not necessarily produce the health outcomes we want, if other problems are not tackled at the same time."

"I acknowledge there are already inter-sectoral programmes in place such as Family Start, Social Workers in Schools and co-ordinating services for families at risk. But, we must continue to develop and enhance programmes to better meet the needs of all New Zealanders.

"One of the key aspects of the health changes is the intention to involve local communities as much as posible in decisions about health services for their own populations. This report will provide the District Health Boards with valuable information to aid their decision making processes."

Ends

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