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Green Prescriptions About To Enter New Phase

The Hillary Commission’s Green Prescriptions promotion is set to benefit even more New Zealanders with the announcement of new PHARMAC funding.

Commission Chief Executive Peter Dale said the promotion was already a success, with around half of all GPs issuing thousands of scripts each month. The new funding of $425,000 will add to the momentum that has been achieved already.

“Green Prescriptions is a unique Kiwi solution to the worldwide problem of people being physically inactive. One third of New Zealand adults are not active enough, and are at risk from a number of chronic and potentially fatal conditions as a result. We welcome the support of PHARMAC, because the State makes a significant cost saving every time a patient changes their lifestyle after getting a Green Prescription from their GP.

“Sometimes the Green Prescription is as simple as a regular walk or swim. We now know that these are the small lifestyle changes that can save lives”, Mr Dale said.

Dale said that physical inactivity was a direct cause of nine of the “First XV” of diseases which are preventable, but still cause death and distress for many New Zealanders.

“Physical inactivity is second only to smoking as a preventable cause of death. We know it is hard for people to change their lifestyle, but it is amazing how often a gentle prod from a GP, supported by a Green Prescription, can help people to make a lasting commitment to being more active.

Mr Dale said that it took only 30 minutes of accumulated activity each day to achieve health benefits. Patients receiving a Green Prescription had the option of contacting special advisors at sports trusts, who would tailor a programme to suit their needs and give them ongoing encouragement.

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Contact for more information:
Peter Dale, Chief Executive, Hillary Commission (04) 496 3966 021 43 96 61
John Boyd, Communications Manager (04) 496 3998 025 45 77 85

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