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Diabetes 'Get Checked' scheme failing

Hon Tony Ryall National Party Health Spokesman

6 July 2006

Diabetes 'Get Checked' scheme failing

The uptake of free annual check-ups for people with diabetes is falling in many key affected parts of the country, says National's Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.

He is releasing official figures from the Ministry of Health which show that diabetes detection and follow-up rates are falling in areas such as Northland, Waikato, Rotorua, Hawke's Bay, MidCentral, Canterbury, and Otago.

Nationally, the number of people with diabetes getting free check-ups under the Government's 'Get Checked' scheme slowed to only a 3% increase last year.

These figures have prompted Diabetes New Zealand president Murray Dear to call for a review of the programme.

"The Government is paying a lot of lip service to obesity, but its key diabetes project is running of steam and falling behind in many of the worst affected parts of the country," says Mr Ryall.

"New Zealand is not making the in-roads needed to get people with diabetes identified and treated. It is estimated that for every person who has diabetes, another remains undiagnosed - that's at least 100,000 undiagnosed.

"This information confirms that the scheme needs more options for detection, treatment and follow-up.

"The Government has put aside several million for obesity projects - some of that might be better spent on getting more care for people with diabetes.

"About 85% of people with diabetes are either overweight or obese," says Mr Ryall.


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