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Reduce overcrowding for better health

15 November 2010
Reduce overcrowding for better health

High rates of rheumatic fever due to overcrowding can be brought down by providing the essentials for every New Zealander, the Green Party said today.

Researchers at Otago University today released a study which finds rheumatic fever infection rates in areas with the most crowded households are nearly 90 per cent higher than areas with the least crowded households.

“This research shows the drastic need for more, high quality, state housing where it is most needed,” Green Party Health spokesperson Kevin Hague said.

“Rheumatic fever is a disease of overcrowding and poverty. The simple solution is to build more houses where they are needed and ensure housing is affordable.

“Public health interventions, such as throat swabs and monitoring, are good but are the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

“Earlier in the year I challenged the Minister of Health Tony Ryall about rheumatic fever. It seems this he has done nothing to make the situation better.

Mr Hague said that the Green Party's Mind the Gap package, launched earlier in the year, would be a good starting point for the Government to address overcrowding and other poverty related health issues.

“Access to affordable housing means families will be able to afford rents, take their children to the doctor, and heat their houses sufficiently during winter,” Mr Hague said.

“We have a major income inequality gap which puts these things out of the reach of a lot of New Zealand families.

“Introducing an In-Work Tax credit for all low-income families and a tax free $10,000 would free up some money to allow families to afford to go to the doctor, buy healthier food, and heat their houses adequately,” Mr Hague said.

LINKS
Video of Kevin Hague's Question to the Minister
http://www.greens.org.nz/oralquestions/kevin-hague-challenges-associate-minister-health-about-cost-new-zealand-rheumatic-feve
Mind the Gap
http://www.greens.org.nz/mindthegap
ENDS

15 November 2010
Reduce overcrowding for better health

High rates of rheumatic fever due to overcrowding can be brought down by providing the essentials for every New Zealander, the Green Party said today.

Researchers at Otago University today released a study which finds rheumatic fever infection rates in areas with the most crowded households are nearly 90 per cent higher than areas with the least crowded households.

“This research shows the drastic need for more, high quality, state housing where it is most needed,” Green Party Health spokesperson Kevin Hague said.

“Rheumatic fever is a disease of overcrowding and poverty. The simple solution is to build more houses where they are needed and ensure housing is affordable.

“Public health interventions, such as throat swabs and monitoring, are good but are the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

“Earlier in the year I challenged the Minister of Health Tony Ryall about rheumatic fever. It seems this he has done nothing to make the situation better.

Mr Hague said that the Green Party's Mind the Gap package, launched earlier in the year, would be a good starting point for the Government to address overcrowding and other poverty related health issues.

“Access to affordable housing means families will be able to afford rents, take their children to the doctor, and heat their houses sufficiently during winter,” Mr Hague said.

“We have a major income inequality gap which puts these things out of the reach of a lot of New Zealand families.

“Introducing an In-Work Tax credit for all low-income families and a tax free $10,000 would free up some money to allow families to afford to go to the doctor, buy healthier food, and heat their houses adequately,” Mr Hague said.

LINKS
Video of Kevin Hague's Question to the Minister
http://www.greens.org.nz/oralquestions/kevin-hague-challenges-associate-minister-health-about-cost-new-zealand-rheumatic-feve
Mind the Gap
http://www.greens.org.nz/mindthegap
ENDS

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