Public Health Expert

Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal

Public Health Expert Apr 06, 2020

Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus has been completely eliminated from the country. These are … Read More

Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?

Public Health Expert Apr 03, 2020

Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high death rates and the desirability of maximising freedom from lock-downs … Read More

Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19

Public Health Expert Mar 25, 2020

Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience for our health system in the face of COVID-19 … Read More

‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challenging weeks ahead

Public Health Expert Mar 24, 2020

Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just felt a huge sense of relief. That … Read More

Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus

Public Health Expert Mar 19, 2020

Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in having a brief window of opportunity to refine … Read More

COVID-19 has now reached New Zealand. How prepared is it to deal with a pandemic?

Public Health Expert Mar 04, 2020

Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago New Zealand joined 48 other countries affected by the novel coronavirus last week when health authorities confirmed the first COVID-19 case. The news prompted panic buying of supplies in some places, but it had long been expected. The management of the case seemed exemplary. Shortly after … Read More

Proposed Vaping Regulations for NZ: Strengths and Limitations

Public Health Expert Feb 25, 2020

Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson, George Thomson Minister Jenny Salesa announced the Government’s long-awaited Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill on Sunday 23 February.  The Bill contains some important provisions as it works to strike a balance between ensuring regulated products are available to smokers wishing to quit, while at the same time … Read More

Updating the role of the state: the case of housing in New Zealand

Public Health Expert Feb 17, 2020

Prof Philippa Howden-Chapman Housing policy is building up to be the key election issue again. In this blog I reflect on the importance of the role of the New Zealand Government in improving access to affordable housing. I look at what the Government has been doing to increase quality public housing and to reduce homelessness and why the public housing waiting … Read More

Getting Through Together: Ethical Values for a Pandemic

Public Health Expert Feb 14, 2020

Ruth Cunningham, Charlotte Paul, Andrew Moore Public health responses to infectious diseases such as COVID-19 require us to draw on our common humanity and be explicit about our values. Recognising this will help us make good decisions in difficult situations so that, for example, the need to impose restrictive measures and to protect ourselves does not conflict with fairness, respect, … Read More