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Public health

Accelerated silicosis: diagnosis of an occupational disease

Accelerated silicosis has recently emerged as a serious occupational health condition mainly affecting people working with artificial... View Article

December 2023

Long COVID: an evolving enigma

Preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection and managing the acute phase of illness has been the central focus of the New Zealand healthcare... View Article

June 2023

Childhood poisonings: hazardous substances around the home

The natural curiosity of young children about their surroundings can sometimes lead to unintentional exposures to hazardous substances... View Article

November 2022

MMR vaccination remains a priority

Measles, mumps and rubella are vaccine-preventable causes of significant morbidity and mortality (particularly for measles), that... View Article

December 2021

Follow-up and surveillance for people after treatment for bowel cancer

Bowel cancer is a leading cause of cancer mortality in New Zealand, second only to lung cancer. Follow-up and surveillance of... View Article

August 2021

Surveillance for people with polyps or inflammatory bowel disease

Guidance for following up people who have had polyps identified on colonoscopy and people with inflammatory bowel disease, who... View Article

August 2021

Lead absorption notification levels have reduced

On 9 April, 2021, the level at which lead absorption becomes a notifiable condition was reduced to 0.24 micromol/L – half the... View Article

June 2021

Early detection of lung cancer in primary care

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in New Zealand and the leading cause of cancer death. By the time of diagnosis,... View Article

March 2021

Consider blue-green algal blooms this summer: Identifying and managing suspected cyanotoxin poisoning in primary care

Cyanobacteria, also referred to as blue-green algae, are micro-organisms that live in freshwater and marine environments. Under... View Article

November 2020

Case study: ten men addicted to Ayurvedic medicines (Kamini and Barshasha) presenting for opioid substitution treatment

We present a special edition “Case of the week” submitted by Dr Jo Lane and Dr Susan Lane, Waitematā DHB. If you would like to... View Article

September 2020

National report: Testing for prostate cancer in primary care

This report provides an overview of laboratory prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing in primary care to facilitate reflection,... View Article

July 2020

Referral of patients with features suggestive of bowel cancer: Ministry of Health guidance

Bowel cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer death in New Zealand. Approximately one-quarter of diagnoses are made... View Article

February 2020

Testing for prostate cancer: helping patients to decide

Testing for prostate cancer is a difficult issue as many prostate cancers are low risk and do not necessarily result in adverse... View Article

February 2020

Carbon monoxide poisoning: a hidden danger

Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless and tasteless gas. People exposed to high levels are likely to require emergency management.... View Article

October 2019

Emerging issues in the management of chlamydia and gonorrhoea

New evidence suggests that a seven-day course of doxycycline may be more appropriate than a stat dose of azithromycin as a first-line... View Article

April 2019

Mycoplasma genitalium: considerations for testing and treatment in primary care

Mycoplasma genitalium infection is a potential cause of urethritis in males and cervicitis and pelvic inflammatory disease in... View Article

April 2019

Syphilis rates continue to rise

New Zealand is in the midst of a syphilis epidemic. Men who have sex with men are at the greatest risk, however, cases among heterosexual... View Article

April 2019

HPV vaccination: getting the programme back on track

Vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) infection provides safe and effective protection from genital warts, most cervical... View Article

March 2019

Assessment and management of alcohol misuse by primary care

Recent evidence shows that levels of alcohol consumption that were previously thought to be relatively safe are associated with... View Article

November 2018

Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer: an overview for primary care

Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer makes up around 1% of stomach cancer diagnoses, however, Māori in New Zealand are disproportionately... View Article

September 2018

Smoke and mirrors: is vaping useful for smokers who cannot quit?

There are many approved and fully subsidised medicines that clinicians can recommend to smokers who wish to quit. The evidence... View Article

August 2018

Antibiotics: the future is short

In general, the recommended durations of antibiotic treatment regimens are decreasing as evidence for the safety and efficacy... View Article

June 2018

Access to HPV vaccine widened

The human papillomavirus virus (HPV) vaccine reduces the incidence of HPV-related diseases, including genital warts and cervical... View Article

November 2016

Hazards to Health: e-notification to your Medical Officer of Health

An electronic notification system has been designed for general practices to report cases of disease and injury related to exposure... View Article

May 2016

Use the New Zealand Formulary to access patient information leaflets

Patient information leaflets (PILs) are now available from the New Zealand Formulary (NZF). View Article

May 2016

Travel consultation essentials: for departures and arrivals

Travel consultations involve assessing the risks that may occur during a journey and helping the traveller minimise them. This... View Article

December 2015

Prevention is better than cure: five tips for keeping older people healthy and out of hospital during winter

With winter upon us it is a timely reminder of the importance of implementing strategies to keep older people healthy, independent... View Article

June 2015

Seasonal influenza vaccines are now available

The Ministry of Health has announced that the first shipments of the two subsidised seasonal influenza vaccines for 2015, Influvac... View Article

April 2015

Exposure to body fluids: keeping the primary healthcare team safe

Providing a safe working environment involves both minimising the risk of transmission of infectious pathogens and dealing with... View Article

November 2014

Smoking cessation beyond the ABC: Tailoring strategies to high-risk groups

Smoking rates are declining in New Zealand as more and more people are successfully quitting. However, rates remain unacceptably... View Article

October 2014

Measles: what to be aware of during an outbreak

The current measles outbreak in New Zealand highlights the importance of maintaining high measles mumps and rubella (MMR) immunisation... View Article

September 2014

Rural infections series: Rural round up

In the final instalment of the rural series we present a round-up of infections that may be seen in patients living in, working... View Article

May 2014

The New Zealand Laboratory Schedule and Test Guidelines: Microbiological and Serological Tests

In October, 2013, the New Zealand Laboratory Test Schedule was published to provide consistent guidance and ensure uniform availability... View Article

May 2014

Pertussis immunisation in pregnancy

New Zealand is slowly emerging from its most recent outbreak of pertussis. The highest-risk period for pertussis in infants is... View Article

April 2014

Seasonal influenza vaccination: 2014 update

The vaccine for the 2014 influenza season is now available. This year, the vaccine has been updated with two new strains, as well... View Article

March 2014

Rural infections series: Investigating and managing people with diarrhoea

Campylobacter, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium and Giardia cause diarrhoeal illnesses in thousands of people annually in New Zealand.... View Article

February 2014

Assessing and managing workplace exposure to chemicals

Contributed by Dr Chris Walls, Occupational Physician, Auckland View Article

February 2014

Upfront - Sudden unexpected death in infancy: Where are we now?

The incidence of SUDI has declined significantly since public prevention campaigns began in New Zealand in the early 1990s. This... View Article

November 2013

Laboratory investigation of exposure to metals or other hazardous substances in the environment

On occasion, General Practitioners will encounter a patient with a concern relating to possible exposure to a hazardous substance.... View Article

November 2013

How to increase the uptake of cervical screening: A profile of success

A cervical smear test is an effective method for the early detection of cervical cancer, and for reducing cancer mortality. However,... View Article

October 2013

Health literacy plays an important role in boosting cervical screening uptake

Susan Reid and Carla White from health literacy and communication specialists, Workbase, explain how understanding and reducing... View Article

October 2013

Cervical Screening – Are we reaching our targets?

There are approximately 180 new diagnoses of cervical cancer in New Zealand each year. Having regular cervical smears can reduce... View Article

October 2013

Upfront: Antimicrobial Resistance in New Zealand: What is my role in primary care?

This month marks the launch of our 2013 revised edition of “Antibiotic choices for common infections”. The guidance supports the... View Article

August 2013

Antibiotics Guide

Tip: Bookmark this page or add to your home screen on your smartphone for your mobile pocket handbook View Article

July 2013

Upfront: Is the cupboard bare? The threat of antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest threats to health that we have faced in recent history. As the rate of resistance... View Article

June 2013

H1N1 influenza vaccination and the risk of childhood narcolepsy

IN MARCH, 2012 A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE in the rate of childhood narcolepsy associated with the influenza vaccine Pandemrix (GlaxoSmithKline)... View Article

April 2013

Hazards to Health: e-notification to your Medical Officer of Health

A new electronic notification system has been designed for general practices to report incidents related to exposures to hazardous... View Article

April 2013

Pertussis: halting the epidemic by protecting infants

Infants who have not yet completed the National Immunisation Schedule and children who are not immunised, or only partially immunised,... View Article

March 2013

Norovirus: Sydney 2012

In late 2012, there was a global increase in norovirus notifications, due to the spread of a novel norovirus, referred to as Sydney... View Article

March 2013

The 2013 influenza season: new strains, new vaccines

The dominant influenza virus to circulate in New Zealand this “flu season” is likely to be an A(H3N2) virus, similar to the virus... View Article

March 2013

Update: It is now time to change your patient's diabetes meter

ON 1 SEPTEMBER 2012, three new diabetes blood glucose meters were listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule: CareSens II, CareSens... View Article

February 2013

Upfront: Recommended vaccinations for primary health care staff

Recommended vaccinations for staff working in primary health care View Article

December 2012

Upfront: Lung cancer in New Zealand

Lung cancer in New Zealand: overcoming barriers View Article

November 2012

News and updates

New national genetic service launched View Article

October 2012

Following up prostate cancer in primary care

Cancer services in New Zealand are undergoing major changes over the next few years. Primary care clinicians are likely to have... View Article

October 2012

Care pathways for long-term conditions: Using type 2 diabetes as an example

A care pathway is a tool that enables practitioners to provide better health care and better patient outcomes at a lower cost.... View Article

October 2012

A new model for cancer care in New Zealand

An ageing population, earlier diagnosis and advances in oncology treatment are contributing to a rising number of cancer survivors... View Article

October 2012

Assessing cardiovascular risk in people with high clinical risk factors

Cardiovascular risk assessment tools automatically adjust risk to greater than 20% for people with high risk factors, e.g. a prior... View Article

September 2012

How to plan a catch-up immunisation

Although immunisation rates among Māori and Pacific peoples continue to increase, there is still room for improvement, as... View Article

August 2012

Pertussis: an avoidable epidemic

This article is out of date. Please see: Pertussis: halting the epidemic by protecting infants for updated information New... View Article

August 2012

Upfront: Understanding health literacy

Contributed by Susan Reid and Carla White, Workbase View Article

August 2012

Managing skin infections in Māori and Pacific families

Compared to other developed countries, New Zealand has one of the highest rates of serious skin infections, particularly among... View Article

August 2012

Oxycodone update

In June 2011, bpacnz produced a report on oxycodone dispensing which urged prescribers to review their use of oxycodone. Oxycodone... View Article

May 2012

Surveillance of people at increased risk of colorectal cancer

The incidence of colorectal cancer in New Zealand is high by international standards. New Zealand females have one of the highest... View Article

May 2012

Upfront: The new face of diabetes care in New Zealand

ON 1 JULY, 2012 the “Get Checked” programme, under which diabetes follow-up care in New Zealand is funded, will be replaced by... View Article

May 2012

Seasonal influenza vaccinations: the 2012 edition

The 2012 seasonal influenza vaccine contains the same strains as in previous years, however, annual vaccination is still necessary.... View Article

April 2012

The HPV vaccination programme: addressing low uptake

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was added to the national immunisation schedule in 2008 for females aged 12 years. The... View Article

April 2012

Looking back, looking forward: key messages 2005 – 2011

This report highlights four key prescribing and laboratory testing recommendations covered over the past five years. Over this... View Article

March 2012

PHO Performance Programme - six years on

The PHO Performance Programme was established in 2005 to improve the health of people enrolled in general practices in New Zealand... View Article

December 2011

Health literacy: a focus for the Health Quality & Safety Commission

Over half of New Zealand's adult population is believed to have difficulty understanding and interpreting health information.... View Article

November 2011

Diabetes follow-up: what are the PHO Performance Programme indicators and how are they best achieved?

The purpose of the PHO Performance Programme is to improve health and reduce disparities among people using primary healthcare... View Article

October 2011

Diabetes detection: what are the PHO Performance Programme indicators and how are they best achieved?

The purpose of the PHO Performance Programme is to improve health and reduce disparities among people using primary healthcare... View Article

September 2011

Rheumatic fever in Māori: what can we do better?

In New Zealand, acute rheumatic fever is now almost exclusively a disease affecting Māori and Pacific peoples. The majority of... View Article

August 2011

Upfront: Meeting the needs of children and young people in New Zealand who have been abused and neglected

Nearly one quarter of New Zealand children and young people come to the attention of Child, Youth and Family before they reach... View Article

August 2011

Whānau Ora: the theory and the practice

The Honourable Tariana Turia, Minister Responsible for Whānau Ora, introduces the concept of Whānau Ora and what this means for... View Article

August 2011

In the aftermath of a catastrophe: The Christchurch earthquake

An interview with Dr Chris Leathart, GP, Christchurch and a member of the bpacnz Clinical Advisory Group. View Article

June 2011

Contraception in early adolescence

Young people are having sex. Advice about sexual health and contraception should be considered for all adolescents, including... View Article

April 2011

Increasing the uptake of breast screening

Significant progress has been made in increasing the rate of breast cancer screening in New Zealand. However, Māori women still... View Article

February 2011

Successful initiatives in men's health

We present some responses received following our 2010 article "What's up with the men folk?" View Article

February 2011

Upfront: Antimicrobial resistance - the way forward

In this final article in the series on antimicrobial resistance, we look at the way foward. Lessons learned from international... View Article

February 2011

Antimicrobial resistance: where are we now?

This article reviews the data currently available, which enables interventions to be targeted towards issues which are local and... View Article

December 2010

Close contact infectious diseases: an increasing concern for Pacific peoples

Pacific peoples have poorer health status than other New Zealanders, including higher rates of infectious diseases. View Article

November 2010

Immunisation in Pacific children: a success story

Childhood immunisation plays an important role in the health of children, their families and the wider population. View Article

November 2010

Promoting healthy lifestyles for Pacific peoples

Ask a Pacific person what a healthy lifestyle means for them and the response will depend on who you are talking to. For young... View Article

November 2010

Overcoming barriers to cervical screening in Pacific women

Cervical screening rates in New Zealand have continued to increase following the introduction of the National Cervical Screening... View Article

November 2010

Rheumatic fever - the neglected disease

New Zealand continues to have high rates of rheumatic fever, particularly among Pacific peoples. View Article

November 2010

Upfront: The health of Pacific peoples in Aotearoa is everybody's business

New Zealanders of Pacific descent come from approximately 20 different island groups, and have their own unique identities, languages,... View Article

November 2010

Upfront: Resistance to antimicrobials - an increasing problem in our community

The threat of multiple drug resistant organisms in New Zealand. The first article in a series on antimicrobial resistance. View Article

August 2010

What’s up with the men folk? A call for successful initiatives in men’s health

In Part One of our men’s health series, we outline some national programmes and campaigns that promote men’s health.... View Article

August 2010

The use of screening tests

GPs frequently perform tests for screening purposes, whether for formal screening programmes, such as cervical screening, or less... View Article

July 2010

PSA screening in asymptomatic men

Prostate cancer screening in asymptomatic men is a controversial public health issue generating much debate with polarised views... View Article

July 2010

Immunisation in children by age two years

An important focus of the PHO Performance Programme is to ensure that all children in New Zealand are receiving their necessary... View Article

July 2010

Bowel cancer screening in New Zealand

Progress to date on a national screening programme for bowel cancer View Article

July 2010

PHO Performance Programme - high needs populations

The PHO Performance Programme recognises the increased health needs of Māori, Pacific peoples and those living in lower socioeconomic... View Article

June 2010

Suicide prevention in Māori youth

The rate of suicide in young Māori males is higher than in any other population group in New Zealand. Mental health disorder... View Article

June 2010

Substance misuse and addiction in Māori

It is estimated that substance misuse and other addictions are experienced by over one quarter of Māori in their lifetime.... View Article

June 2010

Influenza immunisation programme

Important changes to the 2010 influenza immunisation programme View Article

April 2010

Key Messages & Introduction

Evidence indicates that early interventions in a number of mental health conditions for children and young people can result in... View Article

January 2010

Breast screening - achieving equity

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in New Zealand women. The national target for breast screening is for 70% of... View Article

November 2009

Snippets: Nicotinic acid Fosamax Plus & Genetic testing

Nicotinic acid/laropiprant (Tredaptive) ▪ Fosamax Plus ▪ Direct-to-consumer genetic testing View Article

November 2009

Cervical smears - achieving equity

After the introduction of the National Cervical Screening Programme, rates of cervical screening increased and the overall incidence... View Article

September 2009

About this journal

Kupu Whakataki Welcome to BPJ 22, our second journal focused on Māori Health View Article

July 2009

Introduction to adult depression

Mental disorders are extremely common with over one third of adults who attend primary care likely to have met the criteria for... View Article

July 2009

Takin’ it to the people - successful initiatives in Māori health

Tohatohaina atu ki te iwi - He kaupapa hauora Māori angituSome examples of successful intiatives in Māori Health. View Article

July 2009

Immunisation update

Recent changes to the immunisation schedule include a new pneumococcal vaccine for infants, introduction of the High Risk Pneumococcal... View Article

June 2009

Diagnosing and managing influenza

In healthy people influenza is usually self-limiting and uncomplicated however for some groups of people it can be a significant... View Article

June 2009

The social responsibility of smokers

While people continue to smoke, they must be aware of the health risk they pose to others. Second hand smoke is considered a significant... View Article

April 2009

Why people smoke

There are many reasons why people begin smoking, continue to smoke and find it hard to quit. Clinicians who want to discourage... View Article

February 2009

Upfront: Cardiovascular risk screening

Professor Rod Jackson and Professor Simon Capewell debate screening of high risk individuals v population wide strategies for... View Article

October 2008

Upfront: The nature of our nurture

How genes and the environment work together to predict disease or behavioural outcomes. View Article

September 2008

Upfront: Mandatory fortification of bread with folic acid

What side is your bread buttered on? Mandatory fortification of bread with folic acid: the debate. View Article

August 2008

Improving Māori health - increased awareness of issues

Feedback on a survey of GPs about Māori health issues View Article

August 2008

Practical solutions for improving Māori health

So what can primary healthcare professionals do about disparities in care for Māori? We have developed a framework that can... View Article

May 2008

Why we still need to think of rheumatic fever

Māori living in the upper North Island have one of the highest rates of acute rheumatic fever in the world. This disease... View Article

May 2008

Upfront: Diverse realities of Māori

Māori have poorer health outcomes, die younger and have higher rates of chronic disease than other New Zealanders. Reducing... View Article

May 2008

A Māori/Pacific nursing service in a mainstream PHO

A PHO shares its experience and outcomes of establishing a unique service targeted at Māori and Pacific patients and whanau. View Article

December 2007

Acute post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis

In her UPFRONT article on infectious disease patterns (BPJ Issue 5 p4), Professor Diana Lennon noted the fact that Post-streptococcal... View Article

August 2007

Fighting immunisation preventable disease in primary care

In New Zealand, the immunisation programme has eliminated polio and controlled tetanus and diptheria. However, disease persists,... View Article

May 2007

Patient advice printouts

Patients often remember little of what we say during consultations. Important information may be forgotten. We try to overcome... View Article

May 2007

Upfront: Infectious disease patterns a major concern

An Interview with Professor Diana Lennon on infectious disease patterns. View Article

May 2007

Mental Health Foundation

Mental Health Foundations aims and key services. View Article

March 2007

Upfront: Direct to Consumer Advertising

Direct to Consumer Advertising In New Zealand.Is the end in sight? View Article

December 2006

Substance misuse in adolescents: alcohol, cannabis & other drugs

The risk of injury or death during adolescence is two to three times higher than it is during childhood. The main reason for this... View Article

February 2012