20 Nov 2009

Turia urges diabetes screening for predisposed groups

11:24 am on 20 November 2009

Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia wants to see nationwide screening of Maori, Pacific Islanders and other ethnic groups that are genetically predisposed to diabetes.

Mrs Turia, who has Type 2 diabetes, says overweight people with severe diabetes should also get free surgery because they are likely to have heart attacks.

She told Waatea News that since contracting diabetes she has learned indigenous races have a gene that means the majority of them will get diabetes at some point in their life.

Tariana Turia says such screening may not be possible immediately because health dollars are scarce, but is urging Maori to get themselves tested.