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DHBs fail to address diet and exercise

National Health Spokeswoman
23 March 2004

DHBs fail to address diet and exercise

The Labour Government's 21 DHBs are so intent on reducing their deficits that they are not able to focus on community initiatives which address issues like obesity, says National's Health Spokeswoman, Dr Lynda Scott.

"DHBs have confirmed that they have had to focus on their provider arm - the public hospitals - because of the large deficits they have run for the past four years.

"And because of this, one of the main reasons for having DHBs, the community focus, is not occurring and this is making a mockery of the Government's health reforms.

"New Zealand faces an obesity and diabetes epidemic that is now affecting children as well as adults," Dr Scott says.

"The child health study released this week in Hawke's Bay confirms this.

"The future health of New Zealanders is at risk if we cannot educate parents that energy input must match energy output. This must happen if obesity is to be prevented. Schools have a role to play in this as well.

"Many health professionals want to do better with regards to tackling diet and exercise issues, but the way this Government has structured health services the DHBs continue to focus more in hospitals than the community."

Ends

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