There are large disparities in child and youth health in New Zealand. Many children and young people are admitted to hospital or are dying from potentially preventable conditions, despite an increasing knowledge of how child and youth health outcomes might be improved.
One of the keys to making a difference is being able to describe the health issues confronting this important sector of our population. In addition, District Heath Boards and the Ministry of Health need evidence of effective interventions at the population level that can address particular child and youth health issues.
The following three national research units in the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Dunedin School of Medicine have formed a consortium, the Child and Youth Policy Research Support Service:
Collectively they have the capacity to both describe and monitor the health of children and young people in New Zealand. Their aim is to:
Provide high quality epidemiological research to support good decision making and policy for children and young people in New Zealand.
This will be by:
- Strengthening their work so that the child and youth health information they produce can inform policy and funding allocation decisions.
- Refining data collection, analysis and reporting processes and the greater sharing of innovative solutions across the units.
- Developing and retaining a skilled workforce with expertise in paediatric and perinatal epidemiology.
- Understanding the strengths and limitations of New Zealand’s national data collections.
- Understanding the principles of evidence-based medicine in relation to population level interventions.
- Creating a centre of excellence in population child and youth health to attract post graduate students and visiting scholars.
- Creating partnerships with a range of Government and non-Government agencies working in the health sector so that innovative policy solutions can be developed and disseminated widely.
Child and Youth Policy Research Support Service
Department of Women's and Children's Health
Dunedin School of Medicine
PO Box 56
Tel +64 3 479 4523