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Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand Health

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, September 30th, 2020 - 15 comments
Categories: election 2020, health, jacinda ardern, labour, uncategorized - Tags:

On Friday October 9th, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced.

At the moment Jacinda Ardern is the bookies’ 3rd favourite – behind Greta Thunberg.

If Prime Minister Ardern were to get it for anything, it will be for her leadership response to the national health crisis response to COVID19.

This response included a $500 million for assessment centres, equipment and logistics; public health contact tracing; technology for doctors to do online assessments; and expanding Healthline. I must admit that the test was disgusting – but the team were totally professional and the result was really fast.

Personally I think she needs the award for the big pay increases to doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers. And more of them – with over 2,000 new nurses and over 1,000 more doctors. And making doctor visits cheaper for 600,000 New Zealanders. Plus a largest-ever funding increase for mental health – $455 million – and suicide prevention and support.

In the health achievements I’d also put her setting up the inquiry into historic institutional abuse. May all the submitters feel a little overdue vindication.

And I’d also put on the health achievements the massive gun buyback and big limitations on owning firearms. And the way she treated the bereaved and injured after the Christchurch massacre: together we were led to choose the path that was not rage, and she smothered the source of our rage with resolute silence.

No doubt the Simpson Report will be quickly forgotten as we keep simply having to adjust to this new way of COVID19 life across our health and security systems worldwide. No doubt Christchurch DHB is a mess on their watch, and Dunedin Hospital is taking far, far too long to turn into something that will be both built and running successfully. Also, Minister Clark was weak and Ardern carried him far too long, and Chippie is competent but waaay overloaded.

But on top of their health achievements this term achievements they have now announced more.

  • Low income people will get a grant of up to $1000 for dental work.
  • They are going to put nurses into all secondary schools both state and integrated – a huge surge from nurses only in schools with a decile from 1 to 5.
  • Labour is doubling the number of cochlear implants from 80 to 260 a year. If you’ve ever lived with anyone who has gone through a major hearing loss, you will witness one of the most profound mental health attacks as they go through this loss.

Back in my day there was a dental nurse at the school in their own clinic. We made our own filling amalgam while we waited with a deep glass mortar and pestle. I don’t know where those clinics went. So Labour is investing in a lot more mobile dental clinics – that gets to a lot more of the groups who statistically don’t get seen or treated – such as Maori children.

Health services demands are of course never-ending, but in this country at least public health has dominated our politics with the government taking it incredibly seriously. Health has been raised to a national security issue. The result has dominated our election as at no other time. Health policy growing and responding to crisis is the primary reason Labour is leading in the polls and on current trend to form the next government. It is their strongest area of policy formation, funding, and execution that this government has delivered. And no other party or leader came within a Rugby paddock length of her performance either.

So it’s good that the Nobel Committee has noticed how strong and clear our Prime Minister has led health in New Zealand.

If just for her health policy for New Zealand, we should vote Ardern and the party she leads back in again.

15 comments on “Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand Health ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    Perhaps she could share the honour with Greta?

  2. bwaghorn 2

    Imagine the the look on "collins the horribles" face if Ardern gets it.

    • mac1 2.1

      I much prefer to see the positive side of this- that a decent politician, reacting in a compassionate and clear manner in a crisis, gets recognition.

      NZ has often led the way, even as a small nation, and we have gone for what was right- quitting Vietnam, protesting peaceably with a frigate against nuclear bombs being tested, going Nuclear Free, refusing racist tours, and even before WW2, criticising Italian aggression in the League of Nations.

      • bwaghorn 2.1.1

        No doubt Ardern has done a great job of the crisis stuff . But it is her job so a noble prize is a stretch. If she solves child povity and homelessness she might earn the big awards.

    • Morrissey 2.2

      Even better would be the look on the dials of Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt, and the rest of Rupert Murdoch's Australian serfs….

      Australian right wing commentators suffer from deranged Jacinda syndrome

  3. Patricia Bremner 3

    I'm sure there is a photo of JC's face full of spiteful hate somewhere already. So not too hard to imagine bwaghorndevil. In fact a collage might be possible.?? Feeney might help??

    Good for you Mac1… however some things about Judith should not be overlooked or forgotten, as they were perhaps attacks on the fabric of our democracy by someone who now wants to be a Leader.

    They could never give Jacinda an award that did not give the conspiracy theorists a stick to beat her with IMO.

  4. ScottGN 4

    Don’t you think that if she gets it, it will be primarily recognition for her humanity and response to the Christchurch terror attack?

    • Anne 4.1

      Exactly. It would be her response to the terror attack and the effect it created around the world that would be the deciding factor. She touched the hearts of people of all ages, colours and creeds. A feat not too many people have ever achieved.

      • greywarshark 4.1.1

        But also fronting the Covid-19 stand and giving pollies who wanted to have some controls a point of reference. Some who did not lockdown, did try to find a middle way, and that required resistance to business interests who wanted no limits. So PM Ardern going on with following advice, and searching for the workable system, had a world-wide impact and that cannot be denied. And it hasn't been easy, some people would have got very worked up amongst the big business leaders, and further down the heartbreak of micro business seeing their customer base disappear, along with the residual debts, the loss of hopes, the future earnings, it would have been hard to hear about that.

  5. ken 5

    If there was a Nobel prize for being a horrible grogan, Judith would be a shoo-in.

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    Between Christchurch and the Covid response we've seen the kind of overperformance that NZ likes from our champions. In Jacinda's case however, I cannot help feeling that her best is yet to come.

    Health still has plenty to be done however. Christchurch is often in the news for dysfunction, and doubtless there are more board and senior health officials, legacies of a darker time, whose greatest gift to NZ would be, like Judithulhu, to have a cup of tea and a very long lie down. Who knows but with strange aeons even they may become less than entirely useless.

    • ken 6.1

      The red car with a green stripe will go a hell of a lot faster with the handbrake off.

      • Stuart Munro 6.1.1

        Yes – hope she has some sober whips for all the new speedsters. We need the energy, but the learning curve can be steep.

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