The Greens & their Health Policy

I'm planning on voting for the Greens this year. There's a lot of their core policy that I back and I trust them more than any of the others. Most of my attention to them is due to @GarethMP who seems to be one of the few intelligent MPs out there that has a clue when it comes to technology and the nature of the internet. He was one of the few that campaigned against and voted against a law removed the "innocent until proven guilty" policy from the books. In case you weren't aware you are now automatically assumed to be guilty by the mere accusation of downloading pirated materials.

Anyway, their health policy has raised a few concerns;
http://www.greens.org.nz/policy/health-policy

With respect to their position on CAM it appears that they may support it. Although from what I'm reading I get the impression that the position is largely based on the recommendations of the MACCAH report(attached).

From this point of view I would suspect that they would change their position based on the recommendations from this source. If so, I can still back them. They're going with what they consider to be the best evidence.

I've not had the time to read the report (and don't see myself having the time to at the moment either) so I'm doing a little crowd sourcing. Has anyone read it? And if so, what are your impressions of the position the MACCAH has taken?

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CAMsummary.pdf394.31 KB

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Politician and trustworthy

Politician and trustworthy don't go together, even if the person appears sincere they'll say what is politically expedient rather than the truth if they can get away with it. That will never change, nor will the Green health policy - after all that's a big part of their platform and what they use to appeal to voters. Seriously, it's not just may support it, they are all the way down the rabbit hole on that one and it's a big part of their identity. The Green "health policy" would seem reasonable on a superficial look if you are inclined that way but if you look the word vaccine doesn't appear anywhere despite it being a critical part of public health policy. That's because they are most likely anti-vaccine, but being politicians they don't say it outright. Instead they omit it from their health policy and when they make statements about vaccines, it's clearly from an anti-viewpoint (case in point HPV vaccine statements I've seen from Green members). While the Greens probably have a reasonably good environmental policy, they fail on health care policy and I wouldn't vote for them on that basis. Even with their environmental policy I'd be a bit concerned that there are parts not based on reliable science such as they are opposed to GE, just on principle and there is a lot more to it than that.

A lot of their health policy is re-inventing the wheel, like saying "Ensure staff and members of the Pharmac Board and committees declare any ties to industry or potential conflicts of interests." which is already done or is unrealistic and harmful to patient care such as "Requiring doctors, wherever possible and practical, to identify the strain of bacteria before prescribing an antibiotic, in order to ensure the appropriate one is prescribed." The problem being is that in ideal world, that information would be instantly available and it would be possible and practical to do that. The reality is that it takes some days to culture, which would delay prompt treatment and and adversely affect patients by delaying needed treatment as when prescribing an anti-biotic it's driven by that there *is* a bacterial infection present that needs to be treated. It's a bit objectionable that they say "require" as if doctors don't already know of these issues and need to be forced to incorporate that into their prescribing practices, especially when compared with later policy where they want to integrate a number of unproven health practices into the public health system with no stated requirements for validity, let alone efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness.

The MACCAH document you have posted is a summary of submissions, it's probably this one that is relevant: http://www.newhealth.govt.nz/maccah/MACCAHAdvice.pdf

Mind you, hilarious double-speak in the other one - on one hand they call for more research (as always, there is always that one more study that will find something when the others haven't) but then on the other hand the submissions complain that RCT's are not a suitable method for researching their preferred woo. One problem in the other document I've posted is that its the same co-opting of diet and other solid strategies as "alternative" but it also says stuff like this "Where there is evidence of safety, efficacy and cost effectiveness, specified CAM modalities should be considered for public funding." That's important, that's the filter you need.

some green MPs antivaxxers

http://www.greens.org.nz/speeches/vaccination-speech-public-meeting-auck... I was tossing up between Labour and Green but the link basically made the choice for me.

Damn Sue Kedgleys flakey

Damn Sue Kedgleys flakey bullshit! Can I ignore it for the sake of other policies I agree with...

I think this policy is

I think this policy is good.Great news.
Regards,
http://www.astermeds.com/