Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Associate Minister Nicky Wagner welcome a new report which shows a continued downward trend in the percentage of pregnant women smoking.
The latest Report on Maternity shows 14.2 per cent of pregnant women smoked early in their pregnancy, down 2 per cent compared to 2008. That’s around 1,170 fewer pregnant women smoking compared to seven years ago.
“Evidence shows the earlier pregnant women quit smoking, the better the chances are for their baby,” says Dr Coleman.
“Smoking is the primary preventable cause of stillbirth, premature delivery and low birth-weight for babies. It also increases babies’ risk of Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy (SUDI).
“The Government recently set the goal of reducing the overall rate of SUDI by 86 per cent and 94 per cent for Maori by 2025. To do this we have made reducing the rate of smoking in pregnancy even further a focus area for the National SUDI Prevention Programme.”
“This efforts to stump out pregnant women’s smoking habits are part of a much larger work plan,” says Ms Wagner.
“The Government is taking a sustained, evidence-based approach to reducing smoking, including implementing standardised packaging, legalising e-cigarettes and broadening smokefree policies at the local and regional level.
“We’ve made solid progress over the last few years, reducing daily smoking rates from more than 18 per cent to about 14 per cent. But we’re now at the hard end, and many smokers tell me they need help to quit.
“I look forward to releasing smoking cessation data and an update on the Government’s e-cigarette legislation in the coming days.”
The 2015 Report on Maternity can be found here.
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman welcome new data that shows that the World Masters Games was a major success.
“New Zealand is gaining a reputation for hosting world class events and hosting major events provides a welcome boost for our economy,” says Mr Bridges.
“An independent economic impact assessment commissioned by the organisers of the World Masters Games has shown that the Games added $63 million GDP to New Zealand. This is around 18 per cent more than the original target of $52 million.
“58 per cent of the athletes, officials and supporters were international visitors. This means that more than 16,000 participants have contributed over 302,000 visitor nights to New Zealand’s economy. The visitor nights are over 13 per cent more than the target of 266,000.
“Through the Major Events Development Fund, the Government invested $11 million into the event, making it the largest investment from the fund to date. Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) also committed $11.75 million.”
“After four years of planning the pinnacle sporting event for master’s age competitors, the World Masters Games, was a great success for all involved,” says Dr Coleman.
“The task of bringing together such a complex sporting event is considerable, with 28 sports across 48 venues and more than 28,000 participants. The success of this games is a testament to the hard work put in.
“The Local Organising Committee were ably supported by sports and venue partners, commercial sponsors, local iwi, Games ambassadors and a considerable volunteer workforce.
“Over 3,200 volunteers donated more than 75,000 hours of their time to keep the games on track and their efforts were greatly appreciated.
“The ‘sport for all’ philosophy of the games was highlighted by the age range of those attending. The average age of the competing athlete was 54 years with 25 years and 101 years being the youngest and oldest athlete respectively.”
Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman and Food Safety Minister David Bennett today launched the finalised New Zealand action plan to address the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
“Scientists, governments and international agencies are united in the approach to combat the rise of antimicrobial resistance,” says Dr Coleman.
“The New Zealand Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan, released today, will underpin our efforts to ensure that antimicrobials are managed carefully.
“The action plan was finalised following its presentation at the 70th World Health Assembly in Geneva and is ready for implementation in New Zealand.
“The five key objectives in the plan align with international efforts and ensure that New Zealand is playing its part in the global response.
“We want medicines to remain effective for treating infections in humans, as well as managing diseases in animals and plants.”
“The Ministry of Health and Ministry for Primary Industries have worked together on this action plan because resistant microbes arising in humans, animals or the environment impact each other,” says Mr Bennett.
“As a major food producer, New Zealand must manage antimicrobial resistance in animals and plants effectively.
“This action plan shows that New Zealand understands the multisectoral issue of antimicrobial resistance and is addressing it in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization and World Organisation for Animal Health.”
A range of strategies will be used over the next five years to manage the threat of antimicrobial resistance. Implementation of the plan will involve a wide range of partners and will be jointly governed by the Ministry of Health and Ministry for Primary Industries.
The plan is focussed on surveillance and monitoring activities, as well as regulatory oversight of the use of antimicrobials in animals and plants. It will also look to improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance and improve infection prevention and control.
Notes to editors:
The action plan has five key objectives; in alignment with the World Health Organization global response:Awareness and understanding: Improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance through effective communication, education and training. Surveillance and research: Strengthen the knowledge and evidence base about antimicrobial resistance through surveillance and research. Infection prevention and control: Improve infection prevention and control measures across human health and animal care settings to prevent infection and the transmission of micro-organisms. Antimicrobial stewardship: Optimise the use of antimicrobial medicines in human health, animal health and agriculture, including by maintaining and enhancing the regulation of animal and agriculture antimicrobials. Governance, collaboration and investment: Establish and support clear governance, collaboration and investment arrangements for a sustainable approach to countering antimicrobial resistance.
Antimicrobial resistance is where microorganisms that cause infections in humans, animals and plants become resistant to antibiotic, antiviral, anti-parasitic and antifungal medications.
A key risk from increased antimicrobial resistance is that people will needlessly die from infections and diseases that we are currently able to treat with medications.
Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman has today opened a new specialist mental health facility at the Mason Clinic in Auckland.
“In line with international trends, here in New Zealand we’ve seen an increase in demand for mental health and addiction services in recent years,” says Dr Coleman.
“We are responding to this increase by lifting the funding for mental health and addiction services, seeking out innovative ways to address issues, and by investing in additional facilities.
“Te Aka is a new $14.4 million specialist mental health facility within the Mason Clinic. The 15 bed unit provides five additional specialist beds, taking the clinic’s total bed capacity to 108.
“The state-of-the-art building includes sensory modulation rooms, a gym, internal courtyards and plenty of natural light.
“Research shows that treatments which include holistic cultural engagement are more effective in rehabilitation. With this in mind, Te Aka includes a wharenui (meeting house) which helps set the scene for a culturally respectful treatment.”
The Mason Clinic provides services at both a regional and a national level for people with forensic mental health or intellectual disability issues who have committed criminal offences or are at high risk in the community.
This $14.4 million development is the latest in a series of developments and upgrades designed to address the growing demand for specialist mental health services.
Recent work includes the rebuild of the Te Miro Maori and Pacific Nations resource centre, the Kauri medium secure unit remediation project and the improvements to the Tane Whakapiripiri and Pohutukawa units.
This work is part of a much larger redevelopment programme under way at Waitemata DHB. Major projects include the refurbishment of the emergency department at Waitakere Hospital, as well as a new outpatient clinic and learning centre at North Shore Hospital.
This is being supported by the extra $82 million in new money Waitemata DHB will receive this year, taking the DHB’s total funding to $1.588 billion for 2017/18. That’s an extra $497 million in funding over the last nine years.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the free 24/7 four digit phone and text number 1737 is helping to get Kiwis talking.
“Need to talk? 1737 is free to call or text from any landline or mobile phone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," says Dr Coleman.
“The innovative four digit number is a gateway for people to connect the existing National Telehealth Services provided through the Alcohol and Drug, Depression, and Gambling Helplines. These helplines will still be accessible through the same phone numbers, but 1737 creates a new front door.
“Since the launch of 1737 on June 29 2017 it’s drawn 1,716 contacts, from 1,004 people – that’s over 30 people contacting the service each day.
"The trained counsellors who manage 1737 say to date the top three reasons for people to connect with the service is feeling lonely, wanting to talk or wanting to work through relationship problems.
"Talking through these sorts of issues early can help people cope with feelings of depression, anxiety or trauma.
"We're also seeing that many people are choosing to text rather than call for their initial contact with 1737 – with 1,003 initial contacts via text and 713 calls. It's good that people have the options to make contact in the ways which work best for them."
This new service is being supported by the extra $888 million invested into Vote Health this year, taking the total to $16.8 billion.
Budget 2017 committed an extra $224 million over four years into mental health, including $124 million in new innovative approaches.
Cabinet is considering a range of new mental health initiatives, with the details expected to be released shortly.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has today appointed Chairs to the boards of Canterbury and South Canterbury DHB.
John Wood has been appointed Chair of Canterbury DHB, with Sir Mark Solomon continuing in his role as deputy Chair.
“Dr Wood has significant governance experience, a proven track record of drawing multiple agencies together to deliver key work programmes, as well as a strong local commitment to Canterbury,” says Dr Coleman.
“I would like to acknowledge Sir Mark for stepping up to the temporary Chair role following the resignation of the previous Chair, and thank him for his service.
“I’m confident Dr Wood and Sir Mark have the right mix of skills between them to make this a successful leadership team.
“Canterbury DHB has received an extra $399 million over the last nine years, including an extra $73 million this year, taking its budget to $1.5 billion.
“The Government recognises that the DHB has required extra support since the earthquakes, and we’ve provided an additional $106 million above the DHB’s bulk funding allocation, including a $20 million mental health package.
“Work continues in Canterbury to deliver the largest ever hospital redevelopment project in New Zealand’s history.
“The close to $1 billion redevelopment includes the $215 million new hospital facilities at Burwood (opened August 2016), a new $72 million Outpatients facility and the new $463 million Acute Services Building.”
Ron Luxton has been appointed Chair of South Canterbury DHB, with Paul Annear appointed as deputy Chair.
“I would like to acknowledge the continued service of Mr Luxton and Mr Annear,” says Dr Coleman.
“Both bring a great range of skills to the board, including a wealth of governance experiences as well as experience working in the health sector.”
Notes to Editors
Dr John Wood
A career diplomat, trade policy adviser and principal trade negotiator, Dr Wood retired from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2006. Since that time he has gained significant governance experience on a range of boards including as Pro-Chancellor of the Canterbury University Council, Ministerial Appointee of the Lincoln University Council, member of Canterbury Museum Trust Foundation, President of the Canterbury History Foundation, Member of the Governing Board of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), and Member of Te Urewera Governing Board. He is Chief Crown Negotiator for two major Treaty of Waitangi settlement claims, and has been the elected Chancellor of the University of Canterbury since 2011.
Sir Mark Solomon
Sir Mark is of Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kuri descent and was the former Kaiwhakahaere (Chair) of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. Sir Mark sits on numerous commercial boards, and has played leadership roles in community, rūnanga, iwi and pan-Māori settings. Sir Mark was appointed Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013, for services to Māori and business, and received an honorary Doctorate of Natural Resources from Lincoln University in 2015.
Ron comes from a pharmacy background spanning more than 35 years. As well as serving as Chair of South Canterbury DHB’s Community and Public Health Committee he is also a member of their Audit and Assurance Committee. He is currently Chairman of the Aoraki MRI Charitable Trust.
Paul is an elected member of the South Canterbury DHB board since 2010. He is the Chair of the board’s Hospital Advisory Committee and a member of the board’s Master Facility Planning Group. Mr Annear has been a physiotherapist for a number of years in the South Canterbury region, owning a business and working predominantly with sports teams up to the highest level. This includes working with local South Canterbury rugby teams, the Otago Highlanders, various New Zealand age group rugby teams and the All Blacks. He has also been involved in coaching rugby locally in South Canterbury and has been the director and financial controller of a local boutique vineyard.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman today launched a new national Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) prevention programme.
“This Government believes in supporting women and families to have healthy babies who grow up to be healthy kids,” says Dr Coleman.
“Our current SUDI rate is approximately 0.7 in every 1,000 babies born, and 1.59 for every 1,000 Maori babies born. We are working to reduce this rate to 0.1 in every 1,000 births by 2025.
“This new national programme will help to reduce the overall rate of SUDI by 86 per cent overall, and by 94 per cent for Maori, by 2025. This would reduce the number of SUDI deaths from 44 to six.
“Hâpai Te Hauora has been selected as the provider to deliver the new national SUDI prevention coordination service.
“They will provide national coordination of SUDI prevention services to strengthen regional and local responsiveness to families whose new baby is identified as being at higher risk of SUDI.
“The national prevention programme will target two of the biggest preventable risks for SUDI, which are being exposed to tobacco smoke during pregnancy and having the baby sharing a bed.
“It will better utilise innovative approaches to reduce smoking, including smoking cessation incentive programmes. From September we will be providing safe sleep devices such as wahakura or pepipods to families identified as needing them during the baby’s first year of life.
“A range of other evidence-based risk and protective factors will also be incorporated into the national prevention programme. These include encouraging immunisation, breastfeeding, and sleeping baby on their back.
"This strengthened national prevention programme will help to protect the 60,000 babies born each year in New Zealand to ensure they have the best chance for a healthy and long future.
“To support this new approach we’re investing an extra $2 million into the Programme, taking its annual budget to $5.1 million.”
This programme is being supported by the $888 million being invested into Vote Health this year, taking its total budget to a record $16.8 billion.
Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman says the expansion of the electronic health records system HealthOne means that most South Island patient records are now shared on one system.
“The HealthOne initiative is a great example of the use of technology to help improve patient outcomes for over one million New Zealanders,” says Dr Coleman.
“The initiative allows general practice teams, hospital clinicians, pharmacists and a growing number of community providers in the South Island access to patient health information when and where they need it.
“Shared information includes test results, allergies, medications, previous hospital admissions and appointments, medical imaging, and GP information.
“With Nelson Marlborough DHB officially joining HealthOne today, all five DHBs in the South Island are now using the same system.
“The system is very secure with clinical staff allowed different levels of access according to their role. Access is strictly audited to ensure it is appropriate.
“HealthOne was conceived in the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes, which highlighted the need for health professionals to access up-to-date patient information.
“The system is currently accessed by health professionals in the South Island over 3,000 times per day.”
HealthOne was initially developed through a partnership between Canterbury DHB, Pegasus Health and Orion Health and has been rolled out across the South Island through the South Island Alliance.
The initiative won the award for Best Technology Solution for the Public Sector at the recent NZ Hi-Tech Awards.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says World Hepatitis Day is an opportunity to focus on what more can be done to diagnose and treat hepatitis B and C.
“Today marks World Hepatitis Day, and with this year’s theme of ‘eliminating hepatitis’ it’s timely to reflect on the progress being made,” says Dr Coleman.
“In May 2016 New Zealand was one of 194 countries that adopted the World Health Organization’s Global Hepatitis Strategy which set the goal of eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030. This is achievable in New Zealand.
“Hepatitis C is a viral infection affecting over 50,000 New Zealanders, although it’s estimated only half are currently diagnosed.
“Untreated around 25 per cent will develop cirrhosis, and without successful treatment up to 10 per cent of those with cirrhosis will progress to life-threatening liver cancer or liver failure.
“As a result of this Government’s record funding for Pharmac a year the drug buying agency started funding direct-acting antiviral therapies with cure rates of over 90 per cent for hepatitis C. To date, over 2,000 people have been funded for the new treatments.
“As well as funding these new treatments, in October 2016 we made it easier for people to access them by allowing all prescribers to prescribe the new hepatitis C treatments.
“Since the change 34 per cent of prescribing has been done in primary care– fundamentally changing the way the virus is treated. This uptake is a credit to our dedicated primary care workforce who have really got in behind the new treatments.
“It’s also important to highlight the work of Professor Ed Gane who was awarded New Zealand Innovator of the Year in 2017 in recognition of his work towards the development of a cure for hepatitis C.
“Hepatitis C can be eliminated from New Zealand within the next 20 years but to achieve this, we must increase testing and treatment in primary care.
“This work is being led by DHBs, with support from the Ministry of Health in partnership with Pharmac.
“Great strides have been made towards eliminating hepatitis B, with its vaccine part of the childhood immunisation programme since 1987.
“It’s estimated that around 100,000 New Zealanders are currently living with the virus, with many undiagnosed as symptoms can take decades to appear.
“Treatment is available, and helps prevent further damage and also reverses damage from liver scarring.”
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a new website and social media campaign will help encourage women to have regular cervical smear tests and mammograms.
“The Time to Screen campaign encourages and supports women to participate in screening programmes by providing information on when and why they need to get a check-up, how often they need to go, and what to expect from the process,” says Dr Coleman.
“The campaign includes a new mobile-friendly website and a social marketing campaign to help remove some of the barriers to screening and give women the opportunity to connect with others for support and ask questions.
“With more than two million New Zealanders using Facebook on a daily basis the campaign will enable us to reach more women who are not being screened or who don’t get screened as often as they should.
“The campaign is supported by a number of important pre-existing initiatives that deliver individually-tailored and practical support, such as transporting and accompanying women to screening appointments.
“Previous campaigns were fit for the times, but a new approach is needed to help boost women’s participation in breast and cervical screening programmes, especially among Maori, Pacific and Asian communities.”
Women aged 20 to 70 should have a cervical smear test every three years. Since the National Cervical Screening Programme was established in 1990, the incidence of cervical cancer and deaths has more than halved.
Women between 45 and 69 should have a mammogram every two years. The rate of death from breast cancer is reduced by a third for women who have been screened as part of the programme.
More information about the women’s health screening programmes is available at www.timetoscreen.nz