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Govt. committed to the challenge of Child Health

25 November 2007
Media Statement

Government committed to the challenge of Child Health

The Paediatric Society’s reports on monitoring the health status of children highlight recent gains as well as the remaining challenges.

The Government is committed to addressing these challenges, Health Minister David Cunliffe says.

"We want to ensure that our children and young people, who make up a third of our population, can achieve their full potential."

That's why the Government funded the Paediatric Society reports, he says.

"If we're to take a strategic approach to improving the health of children and young people, we need a comprehensive picture of their health and well-being – which is provided by these reports."

The framework to monitor and evaluate child and youth health, developed as part of this project, will be a valuable tool.

It will help guide District Health Boards in determining health needs of their populations. It will also be a useful gauge of how DHBs measure up against agreed performance indicators.

Children and young people must be in the best of health if they are to be our future. We know that many factors, including socioeconomic background, determine health status.

Improving the health of our children and youth therefore requires a concerted effort on the part of a wider range of sectors than just health.

In the health sector, we have been working to ensure access to appropriate child health care services including Well Child and family health care and immunisation. Child and youth health is also one of the 10 priority areas for health improvement.

"Current initiatives in the health and social sectors, which have been outlined in the Families Young and Old Strategy, among others, are already providing significant health gains for New Zealand’s children and young people," Mr Cunliffe says.

ENDS

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