Cost of treat­ment killing the coun­try

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

At least one in 10 Kiwi adults will have type 2 di­a­betes within 20 years which could bank­rupt the coun­try, an ex­pert said.

A Min­istry of Health re­port, Di­a­betes Pol­icy Model, re­veals that 10 per cent of the adult pop­u­la­tion will have type 2 di­a­betes by 2028.

Di­a­betes New Zealand na­tional pres­i­dent Chris Baty said that num­ber was con­ser­va­tive as cases were ex­ceed­ing pro­jec­tions and in­creas­ing by 8 per cent a year.

Costs as­so­ci­ated with the dis­ease could bank­rupt the coun­try if noth­ing was done to pre­vent peo­ple get­ting it.

Treat­ing a di­a­betic in hos­pi­tal with com­pli­ca­tions was four times more a day than a reg­u­lar hos­pi­tal bed. Di­a­betic pa­tients of­ten stayed longer, Ms Baty said. Di­a­betes com­pli­ca­tions in­clude heart, gums and kid­ney dis­ease. It is the lead­ing cause of am­pu­ta­tions and blind­ness in New Zealand.

Di­a­betes was ‘‘killing the coun­try’’ due to the cost of treat­ing pa­tients and be­cause when they were blind or missing a limb of­ten they could no longer work.

There was also a small but ‘‘alarm­ingly grow­ing’’ group of chil­dren de­vel­op­ing the dis­ease.

Up to two-thirds of cases were pre­ventable if peo­ple made life­style changes by eat­ing healthily and do­ing more ex­er­cise.

Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers econ­o­mist Suzanne Snively said 10 years ago the govern­ment spent 3 or 4 per cent of the health bud­get on di­a­betes treat­ment which would rise to 15 per cent by 2021 if trends con­tin­ued.

She cal­cu­lated that an ex­tra $60mil­lion in­vested an­nu­ally in pre­ven­tion of type 2 di­a­betes would save up to $1bil­lion a year in treat­ment costs from 2021 on­wards.

Clin­i­cal en­docri­nol­o­gist and Fight the Obe­sity Epi­demic spokes­woman Dr Robyn Toomath said a re­cent US study pre­dicted that one-third of all Amer­i­can chil­dren born to­day would de­velop di­a­betes dur­ing their lives.

New Zealand also had rapidly ris­ing obe­sity rates which were driv­ing the trend.

‘‘A phe­nom­e­nally high per cen­t­age of my adult pa­tients have di­a­betes, ‘‘ she said.

‘‘It’s be­come so preva­lent within the hos­pi­tal in­pa­tient pop­u­la­tion that it’s al­most a given that if some­one comes in over a cer­tain age they will have type 2 di­a­betes as part of the pack­age.’’ - The Press

GET TESTED: Phar­ma­cies and med­i­cal prac­tices in the South Waikato can carry out a sim­ple test to mea­sure blood sugar lev­els, an in­di­ca­tor of di­a­betes.

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