Kiwis with epilepsy and the health professionals and family who people support them are invited to take part in a survey of how to improve health services for epilepsy.

It is estimated that about 47,000 New Zealanders have been diagnosed with epilepsy and about six new people a day are diagnosed with the neurological condition.

The Ministry of Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Andrew Simpson, said the Ministry’s advisory group and Epilepsy New Zealand have launched an online survey to find out how health services can be improved for people with epilepsy to better meet their needs.

“It’s essential that people with epilepsy are well supported by friends, whānau, health care providers and support agencies, like Epilepsy New Zealand. That’s why the survey seeks feedback from those who support people with epilepsy too,” explains Dr Simpson.

Epilepsy New Zealand’s CEO, Graeme Ambler, also notes the value of the survey.

“This is a great opportunity for Kiwis living with epilepsy to have their say about their future. We encourage everyone living with epilepsy to participate,” says Mr Ambler.

The survey is running until 31 May 2018.

“After it closes, the Ministry and the advisory group will review the survey’s findings and incorporate the feedback into a new model of care for epilepsy”, says Dr Simpson.

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes people to have seizures, ranging from momentary pauses to more severe jerking. Epileptic seizures occur because of irregular electrical activity in the brain and can be managed with anti-epileptic medications in most people. Although anyone can have epilepsy, it tends to develop during childhood and old age.

Read more about epilepsy here.

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