Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Strategy urgently needed for Superbug outbreak

20 February, 2004

National strategy urgently needed for Superbug outbreak

The outbreak of a superbug that has affected 120 people in Dunedin is extremely serious and is a warning that antibiotic resistant bacteria are spreading rapidly in New Zealand, Green Health spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.

"E coli is the most common cause of urinary tract infection and an E coli that is resistant to the antibiotic Gentomycin - as this one is - is extremely serious," said Ms Kedgley, following reports of an outbreak of multi-resistant E. coli sweeping through 10 rest homes.

"Gentomycin is the main drug used in hospitals for blood poisoning, and if a common bacteria such as E Coli is resistant to it, one has to wonder what doctors will use now to treat these common infections," she said.

Ms Kedgley said the outbreak had obviously been going on for some time without the community being aware of it. "Clearly officials are trying to downplay outbreaks of antibiotic resistant bacteria and to conceal them from the public.

"Interestingly, the Health Select Committee has been investigating the issue of antibiotic resistance, yet officials have failed to mention this or other serious outbreaks of antibiotic resistance that have been taking place in communities for some time."

Ms Kedgley noted that officials had conceded that similar outbreaks had been occurring in other regions, and she would press them to inform the public as to where these other outbreaks were.

"The public is entitled to know that there are serious outbreaks of antibiotic resistant superbugs in their communities. It is totally unacceptable for health officials to try to conceal them from the public or to downplay their significance.

"It is obvious that much stricter, national standards of infection control are needed in New Zealand. There is significant variation between District Health Boards as to standards of infection control. This is totally unacceptable.

"It's astonishing that there is no policy for the notification, detection and transmission of multiply antibiotic resistant organisms other than MRSA. A DHB may or may not choose to acknowledge the existence of a serious threat to patient outcome, depending on the attitudes of management and other hospital staff."

Ms Kedgley said all DHB's in New Zealand should be required to report in their annual reports each year on outbreaks of superbugs in their hospitals and communities.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election