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Elderly Diabetics Face Grave Fears

Barbara Stewart
Spokesperson for Health
21 March 2012

Elderly Diabetics Face Grave Fears

New Zealand First today called on Health Minister Tony Ryall to abandon the introduction of cheap glucose-testing diabetes equipment which is raising grave fears among the elderly.

Pharmac is considering the move to a single-subsidised testing product for up to 200,000 New Zealanders with diabetes.

Health professionals told New Zealand First Health spokesperson Barbara Stewart that they fear the elderly will get into trouble as they struggle to adapt to the changed testing regime.

“Some will simply not test anymore which has led many elderly to have grave concerns should Pharmac introduce the new testing equipment in June,” she said.

The move to the new Korean-made testing kits is anticipated to save about $10 million but Mrs Stewart said the estimated savings were nothing more than an illusion.

“Up to 150,000 diabetics will need to have two or three sessions with a trained medical professional to get to grips with the new testing equipment, negating any savings.

“There are also alarming reports that the meters don’t work in cold conditions and cannot be easily used in the dark.

“They also aren’t suitable for sick patients using a home oxygen supply or by pregnant women,” said Mrs Stewart.


Letter attached

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