1 Aug 2016

Govt launches register of spinal injuries

2:16 pm on 1 August 2016

A register of New Zealanders with spinal cord injuries has been launched in an effort to get better care and support for patients.

National MP, Nikki Kaye.

ACC Minister Nikki Kaye Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The national register would collect and record people's information throughout their lifetime after being first admitted to the Auckland or Christchurch specialist spinal services.

Between 130 and 180 people are diagnosed with spinal cord injuries each year in New Zealand.

Counties Manukau DHB, Canterbury DHBs and ACC would fund the register's creation and maintenance.

ACC Minister Nikki Kaye, who launched the registry at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland this morning, said it was important to develop the best picture available of spinal cord impairment, and the register would provide a whole-of-life approach.

"Unless they need initial life-saving treatment at a nearby hospital, people with spinal cord injuries are now taken straight to one of our two specialist spinal centres, to maximise their long-term health and rehabilitation outcomes," she said.

"The aim is for them to receive specialist hospital attention within four hours, which is international best practice."

It would be partnered with a similar registry in Canada, the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry.

"We know from the Canadian experience that the registry will have multiple benefits," Ms Kaye said.

"These include improved understanding of risk factors, which will lead to better care and treatment, as well as improved understanding of injury trends which will lead to smarter injury prevention initiatives."

14062016 Photo: RNZ/Rebekah Parsons-King. Jonathan Coleman, caucus run.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said the registry would capture demographic information, details of the cause, and the subsequent support received.