Proposed changes to restrict sunbeds and manage infectious diseases

  • Jo Goodhew
Health

Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew has today welcomed the introduction of the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill to Parliament, which will amend the Health Act to make sunbeds R18 and improve the management of serious infectious diseases.

“This Amendment Bill brings together two separate, but equally important, sets of changes which will protect the health and safety of New Zealanders,” says Mrs Goodhew.

If passed, the Bill will stop the harm caused to people under 18 years of age by artificial (UV) tanning machines.

“There is clear international evidence that UV tanning devices, including sunbeds, significantly increase the risk of skin cancers among users and that younger people are at higher risk,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“Sunbed age restriction has already been adopted in other jurisdictions such as South Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany and California.

“The Bill also gives enhanced tools to health authorities to manage people with infectious diseases who put others at risk,” says Mrs Goodhew.

The changes include:

  • Enable Court Orders which would require an infected person to take appropriate steps to limit the disease spread, such as isolating themselves or undergoing medical tests.
  • Strengthen the contact tracing process.
  • Improve monitoring of three sexually transmitted infections; HIV, Gonorrhoea and Syphilis.

"These are practical and workable measures that build on the fantastic work already done by health professionals and other agencies," says Mrs Goodhew.