Topic: Health

Ministry of Health launches 5-year plan to combat diabetes

By Harata Brown

The Ministry of Health has launched its five-year plan "Living Well with Diabetes" for people at high risk or living with diabetes.

The President of Diabetes NZ, Chris Baty says the plan supports a holistic and cultural approach to reducing such figures but it's not a one size fits all resolution.

Māori are three times more likely to have Type 2 diabetes than non-Māori.  The plan suggests integrated care by incorporating Whānau Ora approaches where possible.

Baty says, “The things that are important to achieve with diabetes can be done in a way that is right for them.  Yes, there are some models however the models can be very different to the communities that they are in and indeed to the people within who live in those communities.”

The plan was compiled with input from the health workforce and diabetes patients.  Priority areas include improving quality services and detecting diabetes early to reduce the risk of complications.

According to Minister of Health, Dr Jonathan Coleman, “It's about a clear plan of direction for district health boards as to how we want to configure diabetes services so it is about building them around the patient, making sure they're available out in the community.”

The health sector aims to maximise on the benefits of technology as well by allowing people to better manage their own health through patient portals.  This includes booking appointments, requesting repeat prescriptions and touching base with clinical staff directly.