Symposium to be annual event
The success of last weeks public health
symposium has encouraged the Centre for Public Health Research to make
it an annual event.
Director Neil Pearce says staff were overwhelmed
by the interest shown by the 250 public health professionals attending.
Even after the venue switch - from the Museum Building to the Wellington
Town Halls Ilott Theatre the new venue was filled to capacity.
Health Minister Annette King opened the event.
Professor Pearce says after Professor George Davey Smiths presentation,
a series of researchers from the Wellington and Christchurch Schools of
Medicine reviewed current evidence for socio-economic differences in health.
Ministry of Health staff then presented a draft policy on how socio-economic
inequalities in health should be addressed. Wide ranging discussions followed.
The symposium has shown the value of having independent university
researchers directly involved in these discussions about government policies,
Ministry staff can freely and openly discuss their policies with
both these researchers, and those directly involved with the implementation.
The end result is a greater understanding among all parties. Hopefully,
we moved the wire forward a little.
Professor Pearce says this ability to step back and look at the bigger
picture is vital, because socio-economic factors are now the principal
determinants of health standards in New Zealand. Currently we are
not doing much to address these, but at least the Ministry is making a
The topic of next years symposium is likely to be occupational health.