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$35.5m extra for diabetes and heart disease

Hon Tony Ryall

Minister of Health

16 May 2

$35.5m extra for diabetes and heart disease

New Zealanders with or at risk of developing diabetes and heart disease will benefit from a $35.5 million boost of new funding over four years, Health Minister Tony Ryall says.

“Diabetes is one of our fastest growing long-term conditions, and cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in New Zealand. We are committed to improving health services for diabetes and heart disease - with a strong focus on prevention,” he says.

“The new funding includes $15.9 million to further increase the number of people getting heart and diabetes checks – a national preventative health target. The earlier that diabetes, pre-diabetes or heart disease are detected, the sooner people can make healthy changes to their lifestyles.”

The Government is providing $12.4 million to expand local diabetes care programmes – for example, more diabetes nursing or podiatry services. It is also doubling the funding for “Green Prescriptions” over the next four years at a cost of $7.2 million.

Under a Green Prescription, GPs or nurses prescribe exercise and an improved diet to a patient and/or their family and support them to live a healthier life.

“Green Prescriptions have proven to be a highly effective way of increasing physical activity in particular – making significant improvements to New Zealanders’ health,” Mr Ryall says.

“The Budget also includes $12.8 million for more patients to access CarePlus – a general practice programme providing additional support for patients with long-term conditions such as diabetes and asthma.

“Despite continuing tight times, our public health services are in a much stronger position compared to four years ago. That’s because prudent financial management has enabled us to focus strongly on better quality and faster access to services.”

ends

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