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The Future for Management of Diabetes is Bleak

The Future for Management of Diabetes is Bleak

There will be little in the way of healthy futures for people with diabetes says president of Diabetes New Zealand, Mike Smith, following the release of the Government’s Health Targets report for 2007/08, today.

“What this report is telling us is that the public health system is not meeting its diabetes targets.

According to the report of the 21 District Health Boards, nine did not achieve the collective target for free annual diabetes checks, 16 did not achieve targets for satisfactory management of diabetes and 16 did not achieve targets for retinal screening

“These are very basic targets. They are a minimum of what could and should be targeted if the impending diabetes epidemic is to be averted and even these are not being achieved.

“We have not seen any real progress over the past eight years,” says Mike Smith.

The Ministry of Health has also consistently under-estimated diabetes prevalence with its forecasts.

On current trends by 2022 the total number of people with Type 2 diabetes is expected to be at least 407,000 (compared to the current 180,000). This is more than 150,000 (60%) above the prediction based on the 2001 prevalence.

“Government and the Ministry of Health just don’t appear to be taking this disease seriously. There is not even a government strategy to deal with diabetes.

“We are calling on the incoming Government to help rectify this situation. Every year that goes past means that the mountain to climb in the management of diabetes gets higher and higher.

“The first step is a strategy, jointly developed between Government and community organizations such as ourselves. Do that and at least we will all have a common direction rather than the currently fragmented effort,” says Mike Smith.


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