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Put Patients First will not give up on fight

MEDIA Statement for immediate release

February 28, 2014.

Put Patients First will not give up on fight for Diabetes Service

Hawke’s Bay’s public is rallying behind lobby group Put Patients First to keep holding the District Health Board to account.

Andy Lowe for Put Patients First said the public outcry is too great to walk away from after the DHB’s disappointing decision to not renew or even extend the GPSI contract, to allow time for patient consultation.

“Patients left the board meeting feeling disengaged and angry with the DHB.  But the public is listening to our campaign and support is building, every day people are asking the group to keep going and to not give up.

“We are looking at all our options as we plan to launch into our next stage of action.  We will be holding more public meetings across the region to discuss our comprehensive campaign plan.   This is about patients and we will keep fighting for them and their health.

“Diabetes is a major health crisis facing New Zealand that will cost this country millions and millions of dollars. It is growing at 10 per cent every year and that’s expected to get even higher – this is a pandemic, people are going blind, losing limbs, having heart attacks, going into renal failure. 

“The Hawke’s Bay DHB claims it is one of the best performing in New Zealand in diabetes care – but still around half of the region’s diabetics do not have control of their disease.

“Yet in just six weeks from the time a patient arrives at the GPSI clinic, they tell us their lives change as they learn how to take control of their diabetes, and their results, with long term outcomes, prove it.  These outcomes have up to a 74% saving in their health costs.

“The DHB is still refusing to release any evidence to support its decision to axe the service.  They have refused our offer to pay for an independent review to compare costs and outcomes of the GPSI service with the hospital services, and we have had no explanation why”

“New Zealand is facing a diabetes epidemic that will cost the country millions and it’s being felt right here in Hawke’s Bay.  But we have a service that is producing outstanding patient outcomes, and despite what the DHB says, is a more cost effective and outcome driven model, giving people with diabetes control of their lives and their disease, and it is closing the equality gap with Maori.

“It is astonishing the DHB wants to take the GPSI service away from those who need it most.”

To watch what patients presented to the DHB go to


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