19 Aug 2009

Call to give priority to muscle, joint conditions

8:45 am on 19 August 2009

The co-author of a study showing muscle and joint conditions cost the country $5.5 billion a year wants the Government to make the problem a health priority.

Musculo-skeletal conditions, mostly affecting the elderly, include arthritis, osteoporosis, lower-back pain disorders and limb deformities in children.

Arthritis affects 500,000 New Zealanders.

Chris Bossley, from the lobby group Bone and Joint Decade New Zealand, who co-wrote the paper, says the Government has seven health priorities but should follow the example of countries such as Australia and Britain and add musculo-skeletal conditions to the list.

The Government says it will carefully consider the findings in the paper.