A: We have an ongoing medical and health catastrophe in New Zealand:
The Pae Ora – Healthy Futures – Bill is woefully inadequate to alter the crisis in health that we are facing. This “restructuring’ will not solve the medical catastrophe we face as a nation. The pharmaceutical model of health is flawed and will inevitably fail further, as increasing funds are required to prop up a flawed and failing system.
The NZ Outdoors and Freedom Party recommends replacing the existing system with a new model as explained in our health strategy on our website. This will improve real health and well being and reduce costs to the health system in the long term.
B: There are already too many layers in health care:
We already have a three-tier health system – public, private and ACC. This new authority would add yet another tier of “Maori health” to an already inequitable and unwieldy health system. Everyone deserves the best possible health care. A good system that respects patients beliefs and offers fit for purpose alternatives to suit individual circumstances does not require separate health systems based on race.
C: The way to improve this nations state of health is to invest in regenerative and holistic science, solutions and practices:
The Outdoors Party believes that the most important thing a person can possess is the gift of good health, and the most important thing a government can do is to empower the health of the nation. We envision a world leading system based on a regenerative and holistic approach to health, that combines conventional and complementary approaches. This system would take an integrated approach to biological, functional, spiritual and environmental medicine and lifestyle, and will inform, educate and empower individuals, their family/whanau and their community to create and maintain their own health and well-being. The Pae Ora does not look like it comes even close to fulfilling the requirements for a truly functional health system especially with its “top down” approach with even fewer locals involved in the decision making process.
D: Leading causes of ill health are largely preventable, but unless investment is put into prevention, a new organisation isn’t going to improve outcomes: New Zealand is suffering an epidemic of asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), autoimmune disorders (diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disorders etc.), mental illness (anxiety and depression), neurological degeneration (dementia), stroke, undetected infections and their complications (rheumatic heart disease, Guillain-Barré Syndrome). Our leading causes of death are ischaemic heart disease, cancer (colorectal, breast, prostate, lung), suicide and trauma, diabetes, stroke and other diseases of circulation.
The solution must focus on avoiding the causes of poor health, rather just than treatment. The current health paradigm focuses mainly on a pharmaceutical solution which fails to acknowledge the many psychological, social, environmental and nutritional factors that can contribute to health. Neither the current nor proposed systems are designed to prevent or heal chronic diseases.
Restructuring and renaming the organisation isn’t going to change these facts, so unless these issues are taken into account, Pae Ora will fail our tangata.
E: Good health is not a lucky coincidence
The Outdoors Party recognises that good health is not “a coincidence” and is dependent on multiple factors including family life, work life, environmental toxins, nutritional status, and is not purely a factor of a person’s lifestyle choices. Decades of poor risk assessment means that kiwis are exposed to multiple toxic substances on a daily basis. Ignoring this as a cause of disease puts the burden of health on to individuals instead of society.
F: We recommend a re-focused health care direction:
The NZ Outdoors Party recommends:
1) a more holistic multi-faceted reform, with a focus on ‘individualised medicine” not the current outdated ‘one size fits no one’ approach which is perpetuated in this bill.
2) funding for nationwide Integrative Medical Centres, where patients can access the best of conventional and natural medicine and where practitioners work together in partnership to provide personalised healthcare based on multi-disciplinary medicine to ensure best possible health outcomes in a timely fashion. These clinics will provide a wide range of psychological and physical therapies that may include but not be limited to modalities that have proven themselves over hundreds of years such as: Rongoa Maori, Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Physiotherapy, Naturopathy and Nutritionists, Ayurveda, Herbal, Homeopathy and counselling.
3) An independent review of the current healthcare model. This assessment of cost-risk-benefit will be used to manage allocation of resources to those practices that show the most beneficial outcomes. Therapies that have proven benefit will be subsidised.
4) Quality targeted epidemiology that accurately tracks the causes of poor health giving the MOH better data for allocation of resources for disease prevention.
5) We recommend an “Allied Health Ward” in hospitals:
At least one ward in every hospital to be run as an “Allied Health Ward”, supporting those patients requesting alternative therapies. This allows for “the best of both worlds” approach – ensuring patients who desire it are still able to use treatments that align with their physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual needs but have access to allopathic emergency services. IV vitamin C, in appropriate doses, will be made available to those who request it.
6) More focus on mental health – Our current psychological care stats are appalling:
There are an increasing number of New Zealanders suffering from anxiety and depression, and the alarming number of people committing suicide. Very concerning to us at The NZ Outdoors Party, is that nearly 15,000 antidepressant prescriptions are being given to 6 to 18 year olds annually, and 72 for children aged five and under. (Pharmac 2008)
7) We support Maria Bradshaw’s recommendations: Maria Bradshaw’s well researched work regarding depression and suicide in New Zealand exposes that normal medical practise for mental health is clearly not working. Maria Bradshaw’s research and recommendations to improve mental health outcomes and reduce the suicide rate in our people must be incorporated into health care to reduce harms.
8) Appalling childhood stats reflecting on services and outcomes:
Recognising that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) affect an individual’s health for their entire life, the Outdoors Party recommends programs for resolving emotional trauma which will improve health outcomes and reduce life stress.
9) Accurate diagnosis is essential for good outcomes:
e.g.1. As nearly 10% of psychiatric outpatients have medical disorders which produce psychiatric symptoms, NZ Outdoors Party recommends all patients presenting with psychiatric disorders undergo a comprehensive health evaluation to rule out underlying health issues. Until this is achieved they should not be given medications without careful evaluation.
e.g.2. without clinical toxicologists in every hospital, medical practitioners can’t make meaningful and speedy diagnoses for patients affected by single or multiple exposures to toxic chemicals. The health care system must fund clinical toxicologists, their research and training.
10) Integrate the MACCAH
The Outdoors Party recommends that the valuable, and completely ignored, 2004 Ministerial Advisory Committee on Complementary and Alternative Health is integrated into the health system.
11) Informed Consent
The health system must uphold the intent of The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights. The right of every person/parent/legal guardian to decline invasive medical procedures and interventions, including vaccination, or to access alternative treatment for their child with no resultant punitive action must be defended. This will never negate ensuring a child is in a safe environment and receiving the best possible healthcare for their condition whilst not overriding different belief systems. Proper informed consent must be re-instated by MOH/Health NZ since the Covid Public Health Response Act has recently removed the right to refuse medical toxin injections.
10) Protection from head and brain injuries:
As head and brain injuries have unrecognised, serious long term harm we recommend specialised research and practical application to reduce the most common causes of head and brain injuries including neurotoxic compounds such as heavy metals, fluoride and other chemicals. Full funding must go into the best treatments for healing head and brain injury, and make sure that this information is shared and used across the board in hospitals, clinics and in the sports sector and treatment is adequately funded. This will reduce costs in the long term and reduce suffering.
11) Special help with addictions:
Addictions are costing the unhappy lives of thousands of New Zealanders annually. The current medical system does not manage this epidemic of self-destructive behaviour. The pharmaceutical approach – a pill for every ill – sets individuals up for addictive behaviours. There is no ‘magic bullet’ but an approach that may make a long term difference is set out as follows. Any health system restructure must include a well thought out, integrated drug rehabilitation program.
The Outdoors Party suggests the govt considers these options.
1: make high quality, pharmaceutical grade recreational drugs available for purchase at a set cost from controlled outlets, this includes tobacco. This will have a number of benefits:
a) Reduce harm from badly made &/or toxic recreational drugs,
b) Allow local agencies to keep a benign and watchful eye on the health of addicts, keep them safe and support them through what is probably a difficult time and allow interventions to be made in a timely, life-saving manner.
c) Reduce the control from the illegal drug trade and shut down funds going into the drug cartels.
d) Make addictions a health issue to be healed, not a criminal issue to be punished.
2: Drug/s will be available from these outlets after completion of a health care protocol designed to reduce addictions and self-harm. This will include dietary supplementation designed to reduce cravings and addictions and promote a healthy gut microbiome, counselling and proven brain retraining techniques to reduce craving and addictions.
Drugs should be treated as a health rather than criminal issue. The current govt strategy of pretending this problem is not their responsibility means that drug users are ‘on their own’. Every New Zealander deserves the best possible care to suit their personal needs.
A fully resourced holistic approach to drug and alcohol rehabilitation is required within a health care system, including scientifically validated nutritional support available to those people fighting addiction.
12) Promotion of healthy food eating, grow-your-own and “discover regular physical activity you enjoy” campaigns:
We recommend the health system funds and supports community initiatives that encourage individual and community empowerment and connectedness, including healthy eating, growing healthy food and holistic approaches to fitness, relaxation, cultural and spiritual enrichment, and other initiatives that support a healthy lifestyle. These ‘Wellness Village Hubs’ will be networks that provide centralised support for a local community.
Good food grows healthy children so the Outdoors Party recommends that Health NZ creates a ‘Healthy Food Policy’ that takes out the influence that corporations have over our kai.
Food should be uncontaminated with harmful bacteria and pesticide residues and have high nutritional value, low sugar content, only safe preservatives, and no transfats and toxic /damaged fats – it must be safe to eat in every sense of the word
Even “Junk or Fun Food” should be free of chemical additives, addictive substances, pesticides and herbicides, excess sugar and be healthy for our children to eat.
13. Health Education as part of the Health System:
The NZ Outdoors Party believes we all need to have a better comprehension of what creates good health, knowledge is empowering so a robust compulsory Health Education curriculum in Year11 covering basic human anatomy and physiology, basics of natural health maintenance, nutrition, emotional health, family health should be instigated. This must not be influenced by politics and/or the pharmaceutical industry.
14. Better Dental care:
Educate on healthy smiles (from brushing and healthy diet not fluoride) and make regular dental care accessible for all with subsidies for adult dental treatment costs. Poor dental health impacts negatively on physical health so subsidised dental makes sense if this govt is serious about restructuring health care for better health outcomes.
15. Better pregnancy care:
The NZ Outdoors Party believes that all children deserve a healthy start in life. Health NZ requires a comprehensive program to give women support to make the best decisions for their bodies and the health of their unborn babies and reduce stress and anxiety during pregnancy.
Ideas for a “Healthy Pregnancies Program” include
1) prenatal workshops for women who are trying to conceive or are in their first to third trimester, ensuring early inclusion in the program is achieved through collaboration with midwives and GP clinics.
2) healthy eating during pre conception and pregnancy, avoidance of toxins and other harmful substances, supplements to aid foetal development, mindfulness and mental health of mother, exercise during pregnancy, access to support networks, rights of the mother during maternity care and delivery, birthing and natural pain relief options, and early post natal care, relationship health during pregnancy and post delivery.
3) Natural and holistic health care must be included for best outcomes.
4) Tailored for all communities throughout New Zealand and workshops will be co-ordinated and delivered at Integrated Health Hubs, maternity hospitals and health clinics throughout New Zealand as well as an online resource.
16. Other measures to ensure health for New Zealanders which are unlikely to be included in the new health system but should be –
1) Stop the importation of packaged and processed foods which do not meet our “real-food” standards.
2) Ensure food produced in NZ meet the “real-food” standard.
3) Promote food education from preschool to tertiary education to ensure that everyone knows which foods are healthy. These programs should be based on the best evidence and be free from commercial influence.
4) Research ingredients in food that may cause chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. Discourage and remove ingredients that cause harm as part of the NZ Health Food Policy.
5) Healthy food should be our cheapest option. Unhealthy foods should be taxed to cover their true costs, pushing them into occasional “treat” status.
6) Secondary school kitchens should be made available for community cooking classes, going back to basics of cooking nutritious, delicious food. The “Super Grans” initiative is a good example of community members finding ways to support community health and wellbeing. Such community-based organisations will be supported to grow and increase their community reach and influence.
7) Ban products containing genetically modified components/ingredients as these have been shown to negatively impact health.
17. Medical Misadventure – Iatrogenesis: Time to call to account:
If iatrogenesis is not dealt with appropriately nothing the Pae Ore Bill does will create any lasting change in our health care. The NZ Outdoors Party recognises the Health Quality & Safety Commission efforts in reporting and reducing harm from medical error, but believes that we need to do much more to protect patients from over-prescribing, incorrect prescribing, inappropriate intervention, delayed medical care, preventable and/or repetitive errors etc. The Medical and other responsible Health Councils must be accountable for ensuring best international information is made available to NZ Practitioners and that practitioners feel safe speaking about new approaches and concerns with existing practices.
Medical professionals that are incompetent should be supported to improve and if necessary removed from their role to undergo retraining before they can continue in that field.
If the Govt wants to ensure best health outcomes, as it says, govt should make reporting of adverse drug reactions mandatory and require active follow up of treatment with medicines which have only provisional consent. The Centre for Adverse Reaction Monitoring (CARM – which monitors drug reactions in New Zealand) to become more proactive in reporting the adverse effects and interactions of medications. This will enable CARM to initiate immediate actions to protect the health of our people. CARM and Pharmaceutical companies need to be completely transparent and honest about all research and harms observed in pre and post marketing data otherwise the individuals involved will be liable in their private and personal capacity for harm caused to our tangata (living men and women)
18. The State of Emergency under Government Health Acts should be shut down immediately:
The current politicisation of health care, using the Covid Public Health Response Act 2020 in lieu of actual health care is a travesty, is causing more harm than good, and needs to be shut down immediately. The NZ Outdoors Party Alternative Covid Public Health Response policy should be instated in its place. See link below.
Prepared by Tracy Livingston, Sue Grey and Kerry Goodhew
Dated 9 December 2021