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Lack of focus on child health irresponsible

Lack of focus on child health irresponsible

Another damning report out today confirms that the health and wellbeing of this country's children should be the Government's top priority, Labour's Health Spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

"The annual Children's Social Health Monitor describes the kids of some of some of our poorest families as the silent victims of the recession. The message from reading this report is obvious - we need action now to make child health a priority".

"The report shows that hospital admissions for infectious and respiratory illnesses increased by nearly 5000 since last year. As well the authors note that some children may be suffering permanent health damage because they cannot access care when it is needed because of high doctor's fees," Grant Robertson said.

"Many New Zealanders might regard poverty-related health issues as a Third World problem. Sadly the narrow set of politically minded health targets put in place by this Government continues to contribute to appalling outcomes here.

"The National-led Government's approach has seen resources being moved away from early intervention and public health programmes. This is irresponsible, short term political thinking, and it is damaging the long term health of our children."

"The statistics highlight that good health is about the environment in which children grow up. Families struggling to make ends meet, living in poor quality housing and stressful environments will fuel poor health outcomes.

"It's clear that National has no plan when it comes to child health. Labour has an economic plan that will boost incomes for low and middle income New Zealanders. Annette King has already announced some details of Labour's agenda for children, and there will be more to come. It will ensure that the focus of the health system is on investing in early intervention for children where we can make the biggest difference for our long term health and well-being," Grant Robertson said.

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