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


Rheumatic fever swabbing won’t fix damp and crowded homes


Health Spokesperson
Rheumatic fever swabbing won’t fix damp and crowded homes

The Government is throwing money at the bottom of the cliff by swabbing children’s sore throats for rheumatic fever without addressing the causes of the disease, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Detecting and treating rheumatic fever is important. But it fails to address the fact that many children develop rheumatic fever because they live in damp and overcrowded houses,” Annette King today told the Medical Council conference in Rotorua today.

“Failing to address the causes means more children are destined to get this preventable disease. What is needed is less grandstanding about money spent by the Government and more on action on prevention.

“According to the ESR’s Public Health Surveillance, cases of rheumatic fever rose by 25 per cent in a year: from 164 in 2012 to 205 last year.

“The Government must start addressing the causes of poverty. The 285,000 children living in poverty in New Zealand are at risk of developing rheumatic fever and suffering the permanent and ongoing health problems it causes such as heart disease.

“Health inequality is one of the big issues facing our country. Research and evidence collected in New Zealand shows health inequalities must be addressed if we are to improve the health of Kiwis. This is one of Labour’s priorities for this year’s election.

“While throat swabbing picks up some cases, not all children with rheumatic fever remember having a sore throat. This has led community paediatrician Nikki Blair to this week call for greater use of ultrasound scans to detect complications caused by the disease.

“While agencies such as the Ministry of Social Development – which now manages state house applications – realise the contribution poor housing makes, the Government has cloth ears to any message about poverty and refuses to even measure it.

“The Government wants to reduce the incidence of rheumatic fever by two-thirds by 2017. This will not happen until poverty in this country is addressed,” Annette King says.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news