A national strategy for the management and treatment of arthritis needs to be a priority for the Ministry of Health, Arthritis New Zealand today told the Health Select Committee. By 2040 one million people will have arthritis and an action plan is urgent. There is also a demonstrated strong linkage between long term conditions such as arthritis and mental health.

“We cannot spend any more time in meetings talking about this looming tidal wave – we need to develop and implement an action plan,” said Philip Kearney CEO of Arthritis New Zealand.

“This action plan needs to include specific provision for gout arthritis, especially for Māori and Pacific populations. Often gout is not recognised as a form of arthritis and misconceptions about it are common.”

“ There are solutions and today we told the Select Committee that increasing the number of people on well managed gout programmes could reduce the cost of gout arthritis in the health system and greatly improve the wellbeing of Māori and Pacific who have a genetic predisposition to gout arthritis and yet are underserviced in current gout arthritis management,” said Mr Kearney.

Recommendations to Select Committee:

  • The Ministry of Health be asked to formulate a national strategy for the management and treatment of arthritis and report back to the Health Select Committee in 2021
  • That the development of a Model of Care for arthritis be commissioned and resourced by the Ministry of Health by 2021
  • The Ministry of Health be asked to facilitate research into the actual numbers of children and young people under 15 who have arthritis
  • Each DHB be asked to include specific provision for management of gout arthritis, particularly for Māori and Pacific populations in their area in their 2020 and future Annual Plans including progress being made on increasing the percentage of people on a best practice treatment programme
  • DHBs in areas with significant gout arthritis prevalence be asked to plan an awareness and education health workforce programme on treatment and management of gout arthritis in their regions
  • Each DHB be asked to include an update on progress in managing gout arthritis in their reporting to the Ministry of Health

These recommendations have been developed from the Deloitte Access Economics report on the economic cost of arthritis in New Zealand released in September last year. This report showed that the cost of arthritis in New Zealand is $12.2 billion – which includes costs to the health system, efficiency and productivity losses and the loss of wellbeing.

“We know that promoting wellbeing is a central component of government policy and our recommendations to the Select Committee have the potential to significantly increase the wellbeing of people with all forms of arthritis” concluded Mr Kearney.

Arthritis New Zealand

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Register here: bit.ly/2QaQCLB

Questions that will be answered include:

• Do I mention I have arthritis in a job application?
• Do I tell my employer that I have arthritis?
• What are my employer’s legal responsibilities for employees with disabilities such as arthritis?
• What rights do I have if my arthritis could cause harm to myself or others?
• What reasonable accommodation can I expect my employer make to accommodate my needs?
• Can I leave my workplace for doctor’s appointments?
...

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"Giving gout [arthritis] the boot!" Hera and Lori in #Taihape on their way to #Ohakune to provide professional development on #goutarthritis for local health providers. ...

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The tragic fires in Australia remind us that it's always good to be prepared for disasters. This webinar tells you how you can prepare, particularly if you're someone with arthritis. ...

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Register here: bit.ly/2QaQCLB

Questions that will be answered include:

• Do I mention I have arthritis in a job application?
• Do I tell my employer that I have arthritis?
• What are my employer’s legal responsibilities for employees with disabilities such as arthritis?
• What rights do I have if my arthritis could cause harm to myself or others?
• What reasonable accommodation can I expect my employer make to accommodate my needs?
• Can I leave my workplace for doctor’s appointments?
...

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Employment issues for people with arthritis - New Zealand

Join our webinar with an employment lawyer who will outline key points to know about employment issues for people with arthritis.

This webinar will cover information on:

• Do I mention I have arthritis in a job application?
• Do I tell my employer that I have arthritis?
• What are my employer’s legal responsibilities for employees with disabilities such as arthritis?
• What rights do I have if my arthritis could cause harm to myself or others?
• What reasonable accommodation can I expect my employer make to accommodate my needs?
• Can I leave my workplace for doctor’s appointments?
...

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We had our inaugural Accessible Product Design Alliance mtg last Tuesday!
Our #AccessibleDesign Division has been working hard bring together NFP consumer health orgs, to advocate for the design of products & packaging to be accessible for all consumers
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