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Immunisation a priority under Labour

2000 web siteLabour Leader Helen Clark and Labour health spokesperson Annette King said that boosting the childhood immunisation rate would be a priority under Labour.

Helen Clark and Annette King said that urgent action was required to tackle the re-emergence of diseases like whooping cough.

"Whooping cough is the latest preventable disease to re-emerge. In recent years we have also seen outbreaks of other diseases like tuberculosis and measles.

"Three areas of government failure are chiefly responsible:
· New Zealand's vaccination rate has worsened in recent years with a recent Ministry of Health report showing that the immunisation coverage has declined since 1996;
· rising levels of poverty due to state house market rentals;
· and the breakdown in delivery of primary health services through the cuts to public health nurses and Plunket services.

"What is needed is a government that vigorously promotes immunisation to parents, that is prepared to tackle the causes of disease through the introduction of income-related state house rents and is committed to improving primary health services.

"Labour in government will make these needs a priority. Tackling these issues will help give New Zealand children the safe start to life that they deserve."

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