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Monthly Archives: February 2016


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Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says good progress has been made in the quarterly health targets with improvements across all six areas.

“The health targets are not just about numbers – they are about delivering better faster access to services,” says Dr Coleman.

“The latest quarterly update shows improvements in elective surgery rates, shorter stays in ED, faster cancer treatment, increased immunisation, better help for smokers to quit, and more heart and diabetes checks.

“These results are a credit to health workers throughout New Zealand.

“Progress towards the new faster cancer treatment target improved six per cent, up to 75 per cent – the biggest quarterly increase to date.

“Delivering better cancer services is a top priority for the Government. We’ve made significant progress since 2008 and patients are getting better faster cancer care.

“The more heart and diabetes checks target was met for the second consecutive quarter. Around 1.2 million people have had their cardiovascular disease risk assessed in the past five years.

“The elective surgery target has again been achieved with 98,870 elective surgical discharges provided for the year to date– 4,890 more than planned.  

“The Government is committed to delivering year-on-year increases in elective surgery. We have delivered around 50,000 more surgeries over the last seven years – a 42 per cent increase.”

The results for Quarter Two 2015/16 (October–December) also show:

  • The better help for smokers to quit primary care target covers all PHO enrolled patients. This is the second time the new target has been reported – the national result was 85 per cent, up two per cent.
  • 94 per cent of patients were admitted, discharged or transferred from the ED within six hours, up two per cent on the previous quarter.
  • Immunisation coverage for eight-month-olds increased to 94 per cent.

The new childhood obesity health target will replace the more heart and diabetes checks target from 1 July 2016. Heart and diabetes checks will remain an accountability measure for DHBs to ensure the gains made are not lost.


Healthcare Essentials



  • Get your blood glucose levels measured at least once a year. An HbA1c blood test will measure your overall blood glucose control and help you and your diabetes healthcare team set your own target


  • Have your blood pressure measured and recorded at least once a year, and set a personal target that is right for you


  • Have your blood fats (such as cholesterol) measured every year. Like blood glucose levels and blood pressure, you should have your own target that is realistic and achievable


  • Have your eyes screened for signs of retinopathy when diagnosed and then as often as recommended. A special digital camera is used to take a photograph of your retina and a specialist will look for any changes. This free test is part of the regular diabetes screening service and is different to the checks carried out by an optician. If you notice any changes between appointments it is important to contact your optometrist or GP


  • Have your feet checked. The skin, circulation and nerve supply of your feet should be examined annually. You should be told if you have any risk of foot problems, how serious they are and if you will be referred to a specialist podiatrist or specialist foot clinic


  • Have your kidney function monitored annually. You should have two tests for your kidneys: urine test for protein (a sign of possible kidney problems) and a blood test to measure kidney function


  • Have your weight checked and your waist measured to see if you need to lose weight


  • Get support if you are a smoker including advice and support on how to quit. Having diabetes already puts people at increased risk of heart disease and stroke, and smoking further increases risk


  • Receive care planning to meet your individual needs. You live with diabetes every day so you should have a say in every aspect of your care. Your yearly care plan should be agreed as a result of a discussion between you and your diabetes healthcare team, where you talk about your individual needs and set targets


  • Attend an education course to help you understand and manage your diabetes. You should be offered and have the opportunity to attend courses in your local area


  • Receive high quality care if admitted to hospital. If you have to stay in hospital, you should still continue to receive high-quality diabetes care from specialist diabetes healthcare professionals, regardless of whether you have been admitted due to your diabetes or not


  • Get information and specialist care if you are planning to have a baby as your diabetes control has to be a lot tighter and monitored very closely. You should expect care and support from specialist healthcare professionals at every stage from preconception to post-natal care


  • See specialist diabetes healthcare professionals to help you manage your diabetes. Diabetes affects different parts of the body and you should have the opportunity to see specialist professionals such as an ophthalmologist, podiatrist or dietitian


  • Get emotional and psychological support. Being diagnosed with diabetes and living with a long-term condition can be difficult. You should be able to talk about your issues and concerns with specialist healthcare professionals


To become a member of Diabetes NZ Auckland Branch go to or call 09 622 0551

This list of 14 Healthcare Essentials was originally published by Diabetes UK and has been amended slightly for Diabetes New Zealand Auckland Branch.



Michael Mosley


Dr Michael Mosley is in Auckland for an exclusive event to talk about his latest book, “The Eight Week Blood Sugar Diet”. The evening – proceeds of which will go to Diabetes NZ Auckland Branch – will see the author of the bestselling “The Fast Diet” reveal his game-changing approach to one of the greatest silent epidemics of our time – raised blood sugar levels.

Dr Mosley explains why we pile on dangerous abdominal fat and shows us how to shed it, fast. He demolishes common myths, such as the claim that steady weight loss is always better than rapid weight loss and that those who lose weight rapidly will inevitably put it back on. Dr Mosley is an advocate for anyone who has struggled with their weight and wants to regain control of their health and make positive lifestyle changes.

The evening will be hosted by journalist and Newstalk ZB host, Kerre McIvor. Ticket price includes a copy of Dr Mosley’s new book “The Eight Week Blood Sugar Diet. Bring your friends and family and come prepared to learn some invaluable approaches to a healthier lifestyle. There will also be a raffle and silent auction to participate in. Dr Mosley will be available to sign copies immediately following the event, as well as for a question and answer session.

All proceeds from this function will go to Diabetes New Zealand Auckland to support their work in raising awareness of pre-diabetes and diabetes and supporting those affected.



View images from the Diabetes Youth Auckland Summer Camp, from January 2016. More images will be added in due time, so make sure you keep coming back!


Sharps disposal image


From February 1st 2016 all pharmacies will have a bin for receiving used sharps, provided they are in a suitable “sharps” container.

Additionally, all pharmacies will have access to 1.4L sharps containers to sell to their customers but are free to set the price for these so there may be some variation in cost.

This arrangement has come about through collaboration between the metro Auckland DHBs: Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitemata.

Diabetes NZ Auckland is delighted at this progress as easier, safe disposal of sharps has been an issue for many years. Diabetes NZ Auckland has lobbied for this service to be in place for many years. More recently Diabetes New Zealand has championed this issue on behalf of all people with diabetes in New Zealand.

“Sharps” include insulin syringes, needles for insulin pens, insulin pump needles/cannulas and the lancets used for “finger-pricking”.

Used testing strips do not need to go into a “sharps container” but should be disposed of responsibly in household rubbish.

If you have sharps in a suitable “sharps” container and still encounter problems with a metro – Auckland pharmacy receiving them, please contact Diabetes NZ Auckland Branch in the first instance on 622 0551/0508 342238.

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