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Health Prevention - Government Needs To Do More!

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Dr Lesley Frederikson, National Director for the New Zealand Association of Optometrists joins Diabetes NZ in its call for the Government to commit to a strong prevention programme in primary health.

Optometrists routinely detect blindness causing complications of diabetes and refer people for treatment before blindness can occur. It has been calculated that the routine eye examination yields the government around $35,000 per year per person saved from blindness.

"Optometrists predict that the numbers of people going blind and losing vision in New Zealand will increase at an alarming rate unless there is more concern for preventative legislation and funding" Dr Frederikson suggests.

"We are hugely concerned at the current thrust to deregulate health services and combined with poor funding levels for eye health services, this will inevitably result in more people with diabetes going blind.

"Diabetes NZ President Russell Finnerty is right; the Government needs to spend money smarter not harder. A cent of prevention is worth a dollar of cure in anyone's money," Dr Frederickson says.


Ends

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