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National Health Strategy Needed On Superbug

Green MP Sue Kedgley is calling for an urgent national strategy to contain the superbug explosion in New Zealand hospitals in light of information that there has been a 55 per cent increase in the incidence of MRSA infections in the year 1999-2000.

"These figures are alarming and show we have lost control of the problem. Following on from a 60 per cent increase the previous year, they show that the incidence of MRSA is growing exponentially," she said.

Ms Kedgley said New Zealand needs to make MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphlyococcus aureus) a notifiable disease so that we know how many people are getting it.

In answer to a question from Sue Kedgley, Health Minister Annette King said since May 1999 when a campaign was started to reduce unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics, there had been a 36 per cent reduction in prescribing of antibiotics to New Zealanders.

"We need to make a similar reduction in prescribing antibiotics to animals," Ms Kedgley said.

"Its time for the government to stop procrastinating on the issue and prohibit the feeding of antibiotics to animals who are not sick," she said.


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