Arthritis New Zealand believes that Dr Lance O’Sullivan’s plan to bring in 200 mobile medical clinics to vulnerable areas could help to increase the number of gout arthritis patients, especially Maori and Pacific, that receive care and medication.

“Many people simply can’t take the time off work or from personal responsibilities to take care of their health needs. A 24-hour mobile clinic would be ideal for such people and help get more patients with gout arthritis on medication,” says Arthritis New Zealand acting CE Rob Mitchell.

Newshub reports that Dr O’Sullivan wants to open these privately funded mobile clinics because “the current approach isn’t working”. Dr O’Sullivan believes that people are not getting to doctors early enough and the cost to the country is high.

“When we launched our report on the economic cost of arthritis in New Zealand, we highlighted that gout arthritis is one condition we can significantly improve management of – our proposed model of introducing effective consumer engagement and education, challenging the myths and stigma associated with gout, can in fact save money. Adding 200 mobile medical clinics to the mix would definitely support our goals as they would provide easy access to care and medication and remove some barriers for people with gout arthritis to get treated,” says Mitchell.

Arthritis New Zealand believes its proposed model of care would create savings of $244 million over the next 5 years if the number of people on a managed gout arthritis programme increased from the current 45% of people diagnosed to 55%. By 2040 the country could be saving $2.1billion.

“Having 200 mobile medical clinics operating in high needs health areas and being run by nurses and community health workers would be a welcome tool in realising our long-term gout arthritis care outcomes.”

This release was issued in response to the article Dr Lance O’Sullivan announces 200 mobile medical clinics in vulnerable areas published by Newshub on 30 July 2019.


Joanne Taylor
Communications Coordinator
Arthritis New Zealand
DDI 09 523 8903
Mobile 027 226 6625
Email :

Rob Mitchell
Acting Chief Executive
Arthritis New Zealand
Mobile 027 224 7345

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