Shifting all Isolation/Quarantine Facilities to a Single Air Force Base: The Need for a Critical Analysis

Monday, September 14th, 2020 | tedla55p | 3 Comments

Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker

In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks in NZ’s largest cities with large health and economic impacts. The main disadvantage would be reduced numbers of returnees that could be allowed back into NZ, with these returnees assisting with economic recovery. There is therefore a need for an integrated health and economic analysis with the NZ Government being explicit about its decision-making.

Continue reading

Is Euthanasia a health priority for New Zealand at present?

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 | tedla55p | 2 Comments

Dr Ben Gray*

This blog discusses what will be needed to operationalise the End of Life Choice Act in the event that it is approved at referendum. It argues that this will take significant resources. Judging by the experience in Oregon it is likely that this may only benefit a small number of older educated white people. The health system is currently significantly stretched by the extra demands and changes required because of Covid-19. There is also an urgent need to implement some of the findings of the Simpson review on health system reform. Arguably more suffering would be relieved if the resource required to implement a system for assisted dying were put into palliative care funding.

Continue reading

Tax policy as a key health determinant: Reform for the Covid-19 reset

Monday, September 7th, 2020 | tedla55p | 1 Comment

Louise Delany,* Assoc Prof George Thomson

Tax provides revenue for the collective societal services that are critical for the prevention and management of Covid-19. Tax is the way we all share our resources in contributing to a healthy, decent and just society. Tax reform options should be included in pre-election party proposals. More importantly, we need to continue to talk about tax reform.

Continue reading

Upgrade of NZ’s COVID-19 Alert Levels Needed to Help Regain NZ’s Elimination Status

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020 | tedla55p | No Comments

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker

In this blog we comment on the current COVID-19 situation globally and in NZ. We focus on potential revisions to NZ’s Alert Level system that involve improved use of mass masking, targeted internal travel restrictions, and gathering/event limits. These interventions could all help accelerate rapid progress back to elimination status for NZ while minimising disruption of economic activity and education.

Continue reading

Children and young people and COVID-19: The urgent need for improved guidance in NZ

Thursday, August 27th, 2020 | tedla55p | No Comments

Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Amanda D’Souza, Prof Michael Baker

In this blog we consider the ‘Auckland August cluster’ in the light of the changing landscape of international evidence about COVID-19 risk for children and young people. The high proportion of Pasifika children and young people in the Auckland outbreak may be a preview of what an uncontrolled COVID-19 pandemic would look like in Aotearoa New Zealand. There is an urgent need to improve coordination of child-centred policy in the COVID-19 response with better Māori and Pasifika representation in decision-making at all levels. Immediate actions include mandating mask use for secondary-age children at Alert Levels 2 and 3 and encouraging primary-age children to make and use masks.

Continue reading