If you were selected, would you work for health freedom of choice for the individual? For instance, would you lobby for the individual to choose to have high doses of IV vit C in the hospitals?
What is more important to spend health $$ on, preventing disease or fix what's already damaged?
Monica, I have spent many years nursing in oncology/palliative care. I have viewed with much interest the Vit C debate. Personally if I was afflicted by cancer I would do what ever was necessary for me as many cancer patients do.
As I DHB member I would need to see more research and I believe this is happening as we speak.
The health of a population should always be about ensuring we have the necessitities of life food,clothing,shelter and good access to health care wherever you may live.there are timesin ones lifethe need for intervention to save life and to lessen the progress of disease.
We also as a population need to be more proactive around ensuring our health care/education begins at the beginning of life.
I do believe in the fundamental right for people to be able to make informed choices concerning their medical treatment. You don\'t forgo these rights because you are a patient.
Regarding your second question, of course we must do both. I have stated it on my website www.mikemills.co.nz and repeat here:
Yes we need quicker and more accurate diagnosis, bigger and better hospitals, and the best clinical and specialist medical services. My focus is on reducing the burden and cost of preventable injury and illness, and delaying the onset of age-related infirmity through proactive health promotion and injury prevention programmes. This is the field I work in as the Tauranga Safe City Coordinator. I would bring a population health focus to the DHB alongside the clinical/medical priorities.
Monica, in response to your two part question I will deal with the second part first. Ethically and as part of a caring society we have deal with fixing what’s already damaged. However it makes no sense to ignore preventative measures when this makes both ethical and fiscal sense. Therefore the answer is that it is important to spend health dollars on both preventing disease and fixing what is already damaged.
With respect to the first part of the question, patients already have freedom of choice with regard to their ‘informed’ management and of course any DHB should work to maintain this. However there is a requirement to ensure the greatest good for the greatest number and therefore there is a careful balance to be achieved between ‘individual freedom’ and the opportunity lost to the community. The DHB should provide freedom of choice for evidence based interventions but at the same time be willing to consider interventions requested by the patient for which there is little or no evidence for their effectiveness. This would be with the proviso that it will cause no harm and does not deprive others of proven effective treatments. The public expectation is that we invest in proven treatments but at the same time do not become ‘narrow minded’.
This is a rather general answer to the first part of the question because your example of Vitamin C was not given in a specific context. I therefore I have attempted to answer in this rather generalised way based on the aforementioned principles.
Yes, happy to explore and evaluate this.
Spend the $'s on prevention.
Monica - I am a strong believer in preventative medicine, and this fits with the role of a Board director. Our role is about governance, and this includes high level strategy. We are not expected to be health professionals with medical expertise. We have to be very careful not to confuse governance with management.
With regard to your specific example, I am no expert, but will strongly advocate for improved community education on health issues, including encouraging preventative solutions.
Andrew von Dadelszen