On the day 28 February 2020, the world changed for New Zealand, as it confirmed its first case of COVID-19.
Since the beginning of 2020 the entire globe has experienced the inexorable spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the resultant disease, COVID-19. At the time of this writing there are 2.1 million total cases worldwide resulting in 134,000 deaths with both of these figures felt to be underestimations of fact.
At the time of writing the COVID-19 pandemic is poised to challenge the capacity and capability of New Zealand’s community-based and acute care facilities.
With the early success of the measures taken under COVID-19 Alert Level 4 becoming apparent over the past few days, New Zealand is well on the way to suppressing SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, or even eliminating it from the population.
In New Zealand, obesity, prediabetes and T2DM are serious non-communicable (NCD) diseases that have an impact on overall health and wellbeing.
When a patient presents with an ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), acute reperfusion therapy by either acute percutaneous coronary intervention (primary PCI) or fibrinolysis improves outcomes.
In 2008, the quadrivalent HPV vaccine (containing HPV virus-like particles of types 6, 11, 16 and 18) was introduced to the New Zealand National Immunisation Schedule.
Cataracts are the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness in the world. In developed countries, cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed elective surgical procedures.
One of the challenges with a new pandemic such as COVID-19 is how best to undertake surveillance. Good-quality surveillance is needed to maximise rapid disease control, eg, with case isolation and contact tracing to identify further cases and to quarantine contacts as shown by successful control in China.
Thyroid nodules are ubiquitous in modern medical practice, either discovered through palpation or as an incidental finding on radiological examinations.
Ensuring access to preferred contraceptive methods is a vital part of any healthcare service. Effective family planning is essential to the wellbeing and autonomy of women, allowing them to choose to have their children when they are physically, psychologically and economically ready.
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for men in numerous developed countries.
Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) affects approximately 6% of the adult population in New Zealand with prevalence rising by 7% per annum.
NZDep is a small area index of relative socioeconomic deprivation based on census data. Ethnicity graphs for NZDep illustrate how socioeconomic advantage and disadvantage are distributed throughout our society.
The Cannabis Referendum provides an opportunity for New Zealand to take another step towards the wider goal of minimising the harms of drug use in this country. Here we summarise why evidence and public health considerations support a yes vote in the Referendum.
For decades, the optimal management of men with prostate cancer has divided the international urological community. Prostate cancer remains the most expensive cancer in the New Zealand healthcare system, the most commonly diagnosed with around 4,000 new cases per year, and a common cause of death.
In the midst of the present Covid pandemic it is easy to forget that we have an ongoing cancer pandemic that will not be ameliorated by a generic vaccine. Globally, based on 2013–2015 data approximately 40% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime, meaning that most of us can be expected to be affected by cancer, either directly or indirectly.
Renowned civil rights leader, Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr said: “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane”.
“I think New Zealand is the best place on the planet, but it’s a racist place.” Taika Waititi (9 April, 2018)
A non-binding referendum on the legalisation of cannabis will be held in conjunction with the general election on 19 September 2020. Although many New Zealanders have consumed cannabis there is a much greater familiarity with alcohol as a recreational drug to the extent that a lot of people don’t even think of alcohol as a psychoactive drug.
The colonial health system in Aotearoa is failing Māori. This is evident through the findings of the landmark WAI 2575 report of the Waitangi Tribunal that found institutional racism and systemic breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi across the infrastructure of the health system, including in health legislation, policy, contracting, governance and investment practices of the Crown.
New Zealand has been late in implementing nurse prescribing. Towards the end of the 20th century non-medical prescribing was introduced into many westernised countries, notably in the UK, where nurses have been prescribing for decades.
As the world’s population ages, the prevalence of dementia is projected to increase from the current 50 million to 130 million in 2050. The present cost of dementia is over one trillion US dollars and is expected to double in 10 years.
Natural cannabis is one of the most widely used recreational drugs in the world. The active constituent, trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is one of approximately 64 different cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa).
Most myocardial infarctions (MI) are caused by plaque disruption of underlying atherosclerotic coronary artery disease (CAD). This pathophysiologic model of acute coronary syndrome lends itself to effective treatment strategies, including pharmacologic measures and percutaneous interventions.
Freedom of choice is a fundamental human right. When it comes to welfare, property or legal matters, decisions can have far-reaching implications.
The position of Health and Disability Commissioner was established in 1994, following the Cartwright Inquiry into the treatment of cervical cancer at National Women’s Hospital, which found research had been undertaken without ethical approval or informed participant consent.
Aotearoa New Zealand’s ‘go hard and go early’ approach meant that we were one of the first countries in the world to ease our COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. But, the re-emergence of community transmission in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland demonstrated the recovery from COVID-19 will be a marathon rather than sprint.
We hope that hospice/palliative care (H/PC) organisations will take a fresh look at their current stance against medical assistance in dying (MAID). The present approach will disadvantage some patients in a number of ways.
I am a retired GP, and I will be voting a resounding YES in the EOLC Act Referendum.
Bruce Spittle recommends a new review of health effects of community water fluoridation (CWF) because of new findings published in three recent papers.
If a parent were to type “New Zealand teens and porn” into Google, rather than being presented with news and information about pornography use by New Zealand adolescents, they would see a series of links to websites such as pornhub, xvideos, and redtube.
The October 2020 ‘reeferendum’ will determine the legal status of recreational cannabis in New Zealand.
In the time of Covid, some of the superheroes of the health sector are the public health physicians. This book outlines the active and varied personal and professional life of one New Zealand public health physician.
This a book that recounts the experience of the Auckland Starship’s paediatrician Dr Simon Rowley over his professional lifetime.
Paul Anderson is a New Zealander who trained in general surgery and works part-time in Australia and part-time in New Zealand.
As an editor you receive books for review, which are sent to suitable people following an email agreement to review.
When I found this book was returned from the initial reviewer without a review from the person who had “volunteered” to review it
This is the account of the 1918 influenza pandemic.