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


Greens secure antibiotic resistance surveillance

13 May 2008

Greens help set up antibiotic resistance surveillance scheme

The Green Party has secured $4 million funding over four years to establish a comprehensive antibiotic resistant surveillance system in New Zealand.

The Ministry of Health will administer the new system, and work with the New Zealand Food Safety Authority to enhance services and improve the surveillance and control of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

"The aim is to have a comprehensive surveillance system that monitors not only prescriptions of antibiotics but also the levels of antibiotic resistance in our hospitals, our communities, our environment and in food producing animals," Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"This will give us a picture of whether antibiotic resistance is increasing in New Zealand, and if so, where the resistant organisms are emerging from.

"Many antibiotics have lost their power against common bacteria. Common strains of salmonella, E. coli and staphylococcus are becoming resistant to a wide variety of antibiotics. Scientists say it is only a matter of time before antibiotics will become ineffective in treating many human diseases. If we don't move swiftly and antibiotic resistance continues to spread at its current rate, microbiologists warn we will squander the greatest medical advance of the 20th century," Ms Kedgley says.

"The superbug MRSA has already spread into communities in New Zealand, as well as hospitals, and it is vital that we were able to track its spread, in order to put in place strategies to reduce resistance." Ms Kedgley says the continuous feeding of low doses of antibiotics to millions of factory farmed animals is also contributing to the emergence of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and their subsequent transfer to humans and the environment: "To keep antibiotics working for people who need them, it's vital to stop feeding antibiotics that are significant to human medicine to millions of healthy animals."

The Ministry of Health will seek advice from the Antimicrobial Resistance Advisory Group (ARAG) around options for enhancing surveillance in June.

The new surveillance system is likely to include

* Surveillance of antibiotics used in the community and/or hospital setting

* Additional testing by national laboratory services of the Environmental Science and Research (ESR)

* A contestable pool for research projects

* Working with New Zealand Food Safety Authority on surveillance and monitoring of antimicrobial use and resistance in food producing animals.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election