Govt unveils 5-year plan to tackle diabetes

  • 16/10/2015
Jonathan Coleman (File)
Jonathan Coleman (File)

A five-year plan to tackle diabetes which emphasises the need for people to manage their condition has been released by the Government.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says he wants to ensure that people with diabetes, or at risk of developing it, have the support they need to live well and access high-quality services.

"I've made it clear to district health boards that I expect more services to be delivered in the community," he said today.

"We want to ensure people get the integrated support they need to help manage their own health, away from hospitals and closer to home."

It's estimated that about 257,000 New Zealanders are currently living with diabetes.

NZ First and the Greens say the plan does nothing to curb obesity, one of the main causes of diabetes.

"Currently 1.2 million Kiwis are overweight and the Government needs to legislate to tackle obesity head on," said NZ First's Barbara Stewart.

"Relying on the food industry to self-regulate isn't good enough ... removing GST from healthy foods will encourage New Zealanders to choose healthier lifestyles."

The Greens' health spokesman, Kevin Hague, says the Government must stop protecting the junk food industry.

"At a very minimum, we should not be allowing junk food peddlers to sell sugary food and drink to our kids in our schools," he said.

"There should also be a tax on sugar-laden drinks to drive down consumption, with all revenue pumped back into obesity prevention and other health programmes."