15 Sep 2011

Diabetes programme to end

7:39 am on 15 September 2011

A programme that provides free annual checks for those with diabetes is to be wound up because a review found it failed to deliver any tangible health benefits for the patients.

A review of the Diabetes Get Checked Programme says it provided no better results for those on it than for those on standard health care.

The review, conducted by by the Ministry of Health national clinical director for diabetes Brandon Orr-Walker, says the programme has received $46 million dollars of public money since it was launched in 2000.

This allowed family doctors to provide 122,000 health checks to people already diagnosed with diabetes.

But the review says there were only small improvements for those on the programme, and they did no better than those who were not part of it.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says he will consult before deciding what will replace the programme.

Dr Brandon Orr-Walker, an Auckland diabetes specialist, says a large amount of health funding will continue to be put into care for people with diabetes, and he hopes there will be an advance in what can be done in primary care.

He says the programme did result in more people to getting diagnosed.