Type 2 diabetes costs the country $ 2.1 billion a year and one in four Pasifika will suffer from the disease in 20 years, a new report said.
Commissioned by several health groups, including Diabetes New Zealand, the PwC report outlines the economic and social costs of type 2 diabetes that more and more young people are developing.
The health system is already spending more on fighting diabetes than it is on treating cancer, but the report shows this will continue to get worse. Social costs are projected to rise from $ 2.1 billion to $ 3.5 billion over the next two decades if the disease becomes epidemic.
Professor Jim Mann, who worked with the disease for nearly 40 years and was a member of the report’s panel of experts, said without action, type 2 diabetes would “bankrupt the healthcare system.”
* Pharmac is funding two new type 2 diabetes drugs for patients in Māori and the Pacific
* A study in 200 countries shows that kiwi children are among the most unhealthy in the world
* Māori with type 2 diabetes prescribed fewer drugs, the Waikato study found
Pippa Curry / things
According to the report, more had to be done to prevent people from developing type 2 diabetes.
“Little did I know we spent $ 2.1 billion on diabetes, or 0.67 percent of the gross domestic product. It’s horrible, we just can’t afford it, ”he said.
Type 2 diabetes is usually a condition affecting middle-aged and elderly people and is related to obesity, diet, and lack of physical activity. However, for genetic reasons, people of the Māori, Pacific, and South Asian ethnic groups are particularly at risk.
It often leads to other diseases such as liver and heart disease, and can lead to limb amputation.
Pacific peoples have the highest prevalence of the disease at 15.1 percent. However, the report predicted that this would increase by as much as 25.4 percent over the next two decades.
New Zealand’s diabetes rate is higher than Australia and the UK. About one in twenty people has this disease.
The report called for action to contain the disease, including funding for more drugs – a move Pharmac took this year. Currently, each district health authority is developing its own strategy and there is no national approach.
Mann said diabetes is also the leading cause of non-traumatic amputations.
“It has a profound impact on life and it is largely preventable. There are parts of New Zealand where you can get good foot care and parts of New Zealand where you cannot get good foot care. “
The report called for “lifestyle interventions” to stop the disease from developing and help people reverse the disease.
The lifetime cost of type 2 diabetes for a patient who developed the disease at age 25 was $ 565,000, compared with $ 44,000 if he developed the disease at age 77.
SCOPE OF DELIVERY
Jim Mann, a professor at Otago University of Human Nutrition, Obesity and Diabetes, was shocked at the total cost of diabetes.
Mann said type 2 diabetes is a preventable disease where early intervention would save the health system in the long term.
Professor Rachael Taylor, director of the Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Center, which co-commissioned the report with Diabetes NZ, Healthier Lives – He Oranga Hauora National Science Challenge, and a private philanthropist, said more teens are developing the disease.
“I don’t look at them clinically, but the doctors tell us that they have much more type 2 diabetes in teenagers than has never been seen in years,” she said.
A “real concerted approach” is needed as the health system is struggling to cope with the pressure, she said.
Deputy Health Minister Peeni Henare said the disease had put a huge strain on people and the health system.
The Ministry of Health’s plan to Live Well with Diabetes aimed to reduce the burden of disease by providing integrated services and helping people who need to manage their own health.
In 2019, the government introduced healthy active learning, which promotes healthy eating and physical activity in schools.
“Improving healthcare stocks and making health care accessible for all remains a priority.”
– Additional coverage from Laura Wiltshire