March 26, 2021
Poor foot services leading to avoidable amputations
Better foot screening and podiatry services for people with type 2 diabetes could save about 600 amputations a year.
That’s one of the conclusions drawn from a new report on the Economic and Social Cost of Type 2 Diabetes.
Regular foot screening in combination with foot protection services enables the prevention or early detection of the foot wounds and ulcers which can lead to amputation.
Podiatry New Zealand chief executive Jennifer Pelvin says there is marked variation between DHBs in rates of diabetes-related amputations, in part because of workforce shortages.
In 2019 there were only 32 podiatrists employed in the public health sector at the frontline of diabetes management, a figure well behind Australia and the UK.
Ms Pelvin says New Zealand needs to more than double the current number of podiatrists if it is going to meet current and future demand.
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