Last week the Royal Australasian College of Physicians released a statement urging Kiwis to make Health Equity the norm. The Paediatric Society of New Zealand joins with the RACP and their call for NZ politicians to take urgent action to address the growing social inequity in New Zealand.
As NZ child health professionals working with children and their families across the range of community and hospital services, we are faced every day with treating children who suffer preventable illnesses. The causes of these illnesses need to be addressed through bold approaches to improve conditions for health for all, including healthy housing, 'good' work and whānau wellbeing.
Equity should not be an abstract concept, a "nice to have" at some future point. The children and families that are being left behind by the increasing disparities in income, education, material goods, health and participation are vital to the future of New Zealand. We are constantly being told that as a nation we are critically short of well trained workers, professionals and contributors across our communities. Our politicians' past decisions have created an environment that is limiting our potential as a society. We need our government to deliver equitably for all New Zealanders, not just those that are already doing well.
We each have the opportunity to choose to support policies that encourage the healthy development of all Aotearoa's tamariki and rangatahi. We can also educate and encourage our friends and colleagues to support Local Body and national level policies that work to eliminate the drivers of health inequity. Healthy community conditions will support better outcomes for all our children and whanau which will in turn improve well-being and participation and reduce costs for New Zealanders.
The PSNZ supports the RACP call for policymakers and leaders to make a real difference in NZ for our children through:
- making Healthy Housing the norm by introducing a regulation to mandate a Warrant of Fitness and Health for residential dwellings;
- making Good Work the norm by promoting the Living Wage to support the health and wellness of employees and their whānau; and
- making Whānau Wellbeing the norm by taking a child-centred approach to all legislation, policy and regulation.
Dr David Newman
Dr Tim Jelleyman
021 432 744