Warmest New Zealand winter ever recorded – The Government should do more on climate change

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 | Nick Wilson | No Comments

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Assoc Prof Nick Wilson.

It’s official, this was the warmest winter ever recorded for New Zealand according to NIWA scientists. They also list 29 cities, towns and other sites around the country which had the highest average winter temperatures ever documented – some with records going back to the 1860s (full report). This is good news in lots of ways. Warmer winters mean more comfort, more time outdoors, lower electricity bills, less air pollution from domestic fires, and perhaps even fewer excess winter deaths (a documented problem in this country, especially for low-income New Zealanders).

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Care coordination for cancer cost-effective

Monday, September 2nd, 2013 | TONY BLAKELY | 2 Comments

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Professor Tony Blakely

Dedicated cancer care coordinators – a clinical nurse specialist charged with navigating patients through their care – appears to be cost effective, at least for stage III colon cancer.

The Government’s 2012 Budget included $33 million for “better and faster” services for cancer patients, of which $16 million dollars was for care coordination nurses.  This all seems sensible, in that the immediate and net cost of cancer care coordinators may be negligible – putting in place coordinators frees up other staff to do other things as we show in a publication last week in the NZ Medical Journal. Continue reading