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Healthy lifestyle initiative helping more diabetics

A growing number of New Zealanders with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes are receiving support and advice through the Green Prescriptions initiative.

Green Prescriptions provide advice on nutrition and physical activity and support to help people manage a range of conditions, including weight problems, high blood pressure and diabetes.

“In the last financial year, close to 48,000 Green Prescription referrals were issued by GPs or practice nurses,” says Health Minister Jonathan Coleman.

“Of those, almost a third had type 2 diabetes or had been identified as being at risk of developing diabetes. That’s up from 20 percent in 2013/14.”

Budget 2013 provided additional funding for Green Prescriptions of $7.2 million over four years, specifically linked to increasing the number of referrals related to type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.

“This funding included a target of 11,531 diabetes-related referrals for 2014/15. That target has been surpassed, with 13,944 referrals recorded over that period,” says Dr Coleman.

“Feedback from the latest patient survey is also encouraging, with more than two thirds saying they have noticed a positive change in their health and 64 percent are now encouraging others to be more active.”

Green Prescriptions is part of the Government’s commitment to encourage New Zealanders to live healthier more active lives away from hospitals, supported by the extra $400 million being invested into the health sector in Budget 2015.

Further information about Green Prescriptions and the patient survey can be found on the Ministry of Health website www.health.govt.nz

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