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RANZCO Position Statement on Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Retinal Screening in New Zealand

RANZCO’s New Zealand Branch has launched a Position Statement on Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Retinal Screening.

In New Zealand, it is estimated that diabetes is present in 7%, and prediabetes in 26%, of the population. Of those with diabetes, it is estimated that approximately 20-25% have diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness and sight loss in New Zealanders under 50.

This position statement provides guidance to RANZCO’s New Zealand (NZ) Fellows and other New Zealand health professionals on best practice for screening, management and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

The issue of patients at risk of losing vision through not being properly screened particularly affects vulnerable populations such as Māori and Pasifika people and those in rural locations. To ensure services reach all people and communities, RANZCO recommends establishing a national diabetic eye screening service, with culturally safe hubs led by ophthalmologists who will oversee RANZCO accredited eye health providers, community health advocates and GPs. These hubs will provide timely and accurate assessment of retinal images, utilising artificial intelligence (AI), to diagnose and treat Diabetic Retinopathy before vision is irreparably lost.

Read the position statement.

Last updated: August 30, 2022

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