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PC health policy will tackle diabetes epidemic

5 July 2002

Jim Anderton, Leader

Progressive Coalition’s health policy will tackle diabetes epidemic

An epidemic of diabetes threatens New Zealanders.

The incidence of diabetes is projected to reach catastrophic proportions in New Zealand within the next few years.

An estimated 145,000 people in New Zealand are known to suffer from diabetes. The Coalition Government has already introduced free annual checks for diabetics, and funds have been provided to train more diabetic care nurses and to establish a National Diabetes Research Strategy.

However disturbingly, there at least as many, likely more, who have undiagnosed diabetes or the metabolic disturbance which precedes diabetes. For the vast majority of these people, the development of diabetes is potentially either reversible or preventable.

Jim Anderton outlined The Progressive Coalition’s strategy to combat this epidemic.

“We will provide funds for a suitable medical research agency to conduct an appropriately designed pilot programme to screen for diabetes.

“The opportunity to catch diabetes early must be acted upon, and urgency is required.

“Success in the pilot should quickly lead to the development and establishment of a national diabetes screening programme.

“The early diagnosis and prevention of diabetes will prevent a great deal of chronic disease and suffering, as well as saving millions of dollars annually in health care costs.”

Ends

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