25 September 2014

“The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) is encouraged by Prime Minister John Key’s comments yesterday that he was ordering Treasury and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet officials to start presenting new ideas for tackling child poverty,” says NZMA Chair Dr Mark Peterson.

“An excellent place to start would be with the recommendations of the Parliamentary Health Select Committee, in  its report on improving child health outcomes, presented in November last year.”

The Select Committee’s recommendations to Government included:

  • establishing an overall action plan for reducing child poverty
  • constructing policy objectives to give every child the best possible start in life
  • establishing an integrated approach to service delivery to children
  • progressing policies to address disadvantage for all children, covering poverty, discrimination, healthy housing, optimal nutrition, access to health and education services, and safe home environments.

“The Select Committee, chaired by National’s Dr Paul Hutchison, provided a comprehensive list for the Government to consider,” says Dr Peterson. “There is no need to start from scratch—building on the foundations provided by the report means action can be taken  sooner rather than later.”