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Health Ministry Must Not Dither On Guidelines

Health Ministry Must Not Dither On Guidelines

Tuesday 9 Dec 2003
Heather Roy
Press Releases -- Health

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman and former physiotherapist Heather Roy today welcomed the Health Ministry expert panel's guidelines for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke, and urged the Ministry to implement them as soon as possible.

"Otago University Nutrition Professor Jim Mann has said those suffering - or likely to suffer - from these conditions must be found early and treated on an individual basis. This is what ACT has promoted all along - healthcare based on individual need," Mrs Roy said.

"Instead, however, Labour focuses on population-based medicine - and pouring most of its health resources into targeting only part of our population. These are indiscriminate diseases which can strike anyone - not just Maori and Pacific peoples.

"The guidelines also recommend that DHBs set up specialised stroke units. Once stabilised, stroke patients benefit hugely from physiotherapy and other rehabilitation treatments. Unfortunately, they are sent home as soon as possible, often resulting in inadequate treatment reducing their quality of life and placing heavy burdens on their families.

"Like any other patients - many with more `glamorous conditions' - stroke patients have the right to quality treatment that will assist them in getting back to work and reaching their full potential.

"Health Minister Annette King has said the guidelines will not be implemented overnight. This must not be Labour code for `Good work experts - we'll get around to this later' - New Zealand patients already wait too long," Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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