Archive for the ‘New Zealand’ Category

U.S. trails other nations in chronic illness care

November 13, 2008

Chronically ill Americans are more likely to forgo medical care because of high costs or experience medical errors than patients in other affluent countries, according to a study released on Thursday.

By Will Dunham, Reuters
The study comparing the experiences of patients in eight nations reflected poorly on the U.S. health care system as President-elect Barack Obama and his allies work on plans to rein in health costs and extend insurance to more people.

The researchers questioned 7,500 adults in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Britain and the United States. Each had at least one of seven chronic conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis and depression.

Dutch patients had the fewest complaints, while the Americans had plenty, according to the study by the Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based health policy research group.

Read the rest:


Free trade – Taiwan next?

March 30, 2008

New Zealand

United Future [of New Zealand] leader Peter Dunne thinks the signing of the Free Trade Agreement with China should be followed by one with Taiwan as well.

Helen Clark is to lead a 150-strong delegation to Beijing for the signing ceremony.

Peter Dunne – who is boycotting the trip because of the violence in Tibet – says the next step is to sign one with Taiwan, given the potential benefits. He says Taiwan is a major trading partner with New Zealand, and as it is also a member of the World Trade Organisation there should be a logic to exploring a deal with the Taiwanese as well.

Despite China’s turbulent relationship with Taiwan, Mr Dunne doubts the Chinese would oppose the deal.

France is healthcare leader, US comes dead last

January 9, 2008

WASHINGTON (AFP) – France is tops, and the United States dead last, in providing timely and effective healthcare to its citizens, according to a survey Tuesday of preventable deaths in 19 industrialized countries.

The study by the Commonwealth Fund and published in the January/February issue of the journal Health Affairs measured developed countries’ effectiveness at providing timely and effective healthcare.

The study, entitled “Measuring the Health of Nations: Updating an Earlier Analysis,” was written by researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. It looked at death rates….

Read the rest:;_

China, Pollution and the Olympics

October 16, 2007

By Maureen Fan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, October 16, 2007; Page A01

BEIJING — In summer, a gray industrial haze coats this city of more than 15 million, descending over the Great Wall, sticking to humid hillsides and obscuring skyscrapers. Soaring temperatures and a lack of wind conspire with gunk-spewing traffic to foul the air.

The pollution is so bad many visitors are wondering how Olympic athletes will be affected and how this city can possibly be ready to host them in less than 10 months.

Beijing is rushing to make its air clean for the 2008 Olympics, but experts say it will be impossible for the site to be totally safe for athletes at the global sporting event.

Above: A beautiful, sunny morning near Beijing.

Read the rest: 

New Zealand investigates formaldehyde content in Chinese clothing imports

August 20, 2007

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand’s government is investigating clothing imports from China after some were found to contain dangerously high levels of the chemical formaldehyde, officials said Monday.

The probe was ordered after scientists testing clothes for TV3’s “Target” consumer watchdog program discovered formaldehyde concentrations up to 900 times above the safe level in woolen and cotton clothes from China.

Formaldehyde _ a preservative that is used to give a permanent press effect to clothes and also as an embalming fluid _ can cause problems ranging from skin rashes to cancer.

Read the rest at: