Children’s health disparities require urgent action
“The large health disparities in the health status of New Zealand children, which have led to an alarming number of hospital admissions for a range of preventable illnesses, must be urgently addressed says the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) in response to this year’s Children’s Social Health Monitor report.”
Key Points Emerging from the Children’s Social Health Monitor
“…. the overall picture painted by the 2011 Children’s Social Health Monitor remains concerning, with one in five (20%) New Zealand children being reliant on Government Benefits as the main source of their family’s income, and the 2008 Living Standards Survey suggesting that these benefits may inadequately protect them from exposure to material hardship (e.g. having to wear worn out shoes or clothing, sharing a bed, cutting back on fresh fruit and vegetables, and postponing doctors visits because of cost). Further, while the increases in hospital admissions for medical conditions with a social gradient seen during 2007–2009 were less steep in 2009–2010 (and for Pacific children may be beginning to taper off), large social gradients persist for many conditions (e.g. hospital admission for injuries arising from the assault, neglect or maltreatment of children are 5.6 times higher for those living in the most deprived (NZDep Index decile 9–10) areas, and mortality from sudden unexpected death in infancy is 7.4 times higher). Key Points
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