Amputees being treated by ACC get 214 per cent more funding than those going through district health boards when it comes to artificial limbs, according to the New Zealand Artificial Limb Service.

That was one of the key issues raised by the service in its briefing to new Social Development and Disability Issues Minister Carmel Sepuloni.

The briefing document highlighted inequity in funding as a major issue which meant some people received better technology and rehabilitation services than others.

ACC patients were individually funded and received an average of $4274 in funding per patient in 2016-17.

District Health Board patients were funded from a bulk payment which equated to $1998 per patient in 2016-17.

Maori and Pacific Islanders were also more likely to need the help of the New Zealand Artificial Limb Service because they were at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and vascular disease.

Diabetes and vascular disease were the main cause of amputation this year making up 52 per cent of the 411 new amputees accessing the service. Both trauma and cancer, congenital and infection made up 24 per cent each.

The briefing document also noted that among people with diabetes, Maori were 1.7 times more likely to need a lower limb amputation than non-Maori.

The service also highlighted the poor earthquake rating and water damage in its Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch centres which required more than $5 million worth of urgent repairs.

The service had been trying to resolve the issues for decades but had been unable to come to funding arrangements with the Ministry of Social Development, ACC or district health boards, the report said.

In order to afford the repairs the service would either have to increase the contract price with district health boards or reduce the services provided to patients, the service said.


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