Ministry of Health and district health boards: Effectiveness of the "Get Checked" diabetes programme.

Poorly managed diabetes can result in debilitating complications, including blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, nerve damage, and conditions requiring lower limb amputations. However, diabetes is often responsive to effective management.

The “Get Checked” programme (the programme) gives people diagnosed with diabetes access to free annual health checks. These checks ensure that key tests (which assist in identifying diabetes complications early) have been completed for the year and treatment can be planned for the year ahead. The data collected from the programme is also important for providing care and for planning diabetes services.

I am pleased to note that the programme has resulted in improvements. More people are participating in the programme, and there is heightened awareness of diabetes and improved monitoring of patients at the primary health care level. Education and guidelines for treatment and referrals to specialist diabetes services have improved. Innovative programmes to remove barriers for people accessing diabetes care, particularly Māori and Pacific Island peoples, are being used.

In order to make the programme more effective, improvements need to be made to the quality of programme data and how the data is used. Better use can be made of the data to inform the provision of diabetes care at primary and secondary care levels. More evaluation should be carried out using the programme data to better understand how the programme and other factors contributing to diabetes are linked, and to identify further improvements in how diabetes is managed.

I thank staff from the Ministry of Health, district health boards, primary health organisations, and other community organisations that we spoke to for their help during my audit.


K B Brady
Controller and Auditor-General

11 June 2007

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