Free diabetes check-ups in New Zealand have proved successful but also alarming, according to the Kiwi Health Minister Pete Hodgson. The numbers enrolling for screening has doubled from c.34,000 in 2001 to c.70,000 in 2005. The ‘Get Checked’ initiative indicates how far the diabetes epidemic has progressed in NZ.
Pete Hodgson maintained that more needs to be done to get people with diabetes the support that they need, and work on prevention must accelerate to meet new pressures. Speaking in New Zealand, the Health Minister said: “Diabetes is one of New Zealand’s leading causes of death and one of our most pressing public health challenges. The ‘Get Checked’ programme aims to improve the health of people with diabetes through active monitoring of a person’s physical health and lifestyle. In just five years the number of enrolees has more than doubled to over 70,000. The management of diabetes is now a massive undertaking for New Zealand’s health community.”
There are thought to now be 125,000 New Zealanders diagnosed with diabetes, and just over 5,000 were diagnosed in the last year. Experts estimate that 200,000 people in the country have the disease. The future, as for many countries, needs a focus on prevention and awareness.

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