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New Zealand Specific Healthcare Question 15
If you could increase investment in one medical specialty out of Paediatrics, Orthopaedics and Geriatrics- which would you choose and why?
I would invest in paedatrics due to the large number of children currently living below the poverty line in New Zealand. Poverty predisposes these children to a wide range of preventable illnesses.
Repiratory illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchilitis are becoming more prevalent as families are required to live in sub-standard accommodation e.g. cars, damp rentals, garages etc. These illnesses, if not treated require hospitalization. In small numbers and isolated cases, the New Zealand healthcare system currently has the capacity to manage the load adequately. However, with the number of children in this group increasing, the strain on the healthcare system will continue to increase, as we are already observing in larger areas, such as Auckland.
This funding would also lend itself to research into preventing other serious, life long illnesses which are currently appearing in children, such as type two diabetes and obesity, as well as treatments aimed at this group. Currently the range of treatment options used for children who present with these illnesses is far less than what available for adults with the same illness. Further research into the effects of our current medicines and the development of new ones specifically for children would also be an essential investment.