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Government Falling Well Short on Diabetes Care

Barbara Stewart MP
Spokesperson for Health
4 December 2012

Government Falling Well Short on Diabetes Care

The Government’s short-sighted policies are failing to stem New Zealand’s diabetes epidemic, says New Zealand First health spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

Diabetes NZ Supplies Ltd (DNZSL) recently closed its doors because the Government decided its range of test strips, meters, and diabetes information would no longer be funded by Pharmac.

Mrs Stewart says removing the extra help provided by DNZSL has placed increased pressure on GPs.

“The Government is doing an exceedingly poor job to turn the tide in the fight against diabetes with the number of people diagnosed with ‘pre-diabetes’ symptoms ever-increasing.

“Recent data reveals more than one in four Pacific Islanders, one in five Māori, and just over one in 10 Pākehā aged between 31 and 50 have pre-diabetes.

“The Ministry of Health aims to have heart and diabetes tests for 75 per cent of eligible groups by July 2013.

“None of the 20 District Health Boards are on target to meet these requirements.”

Mrs Stewart says a large scale national screening programme to identify people with pre-diabetes is urgently required.

“We have one of the highest diabetic rates in the world which has already cost taxpayers more than $1 billion in less than a decade.

“If the number of diabetics keeps rising at such a steady rate our health system simply won’t be able to cope.”


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