1 Most New Zealanders are unaware of what a Sleep Medical Disorder is (eg; Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy.)
2 Few know what a sleep specialist is, or the role of a sleep clinic or how a person can be checked out through public and private facilities.
3 Therefore, 95% of sleep medical disorders are undiagnosed and hence untreated.
4 Fisher & Paykel Healthcare estimate that between 3-9% of the New Zealand adult population suffer from some kind of sleep medical disorder, which can lead to "excessive daytime sleepiness" resulting in car crashes and other accidents in the work place and in the home. Furthermore, sleep medical disorders have been shown to be very detrimental to one's health if they remain untreated. They also greatly effect the economy by reducing the productivity of workers.
5 Sleep Medical Disorders are regarded as a serious public health issue in the United States yet are not even talked about in New Zealand FUTURE STRATEGIC DIRECTION
1 The MOH needs to provide considerably more funding to public hospital sleep clinics to reduce excessive waiting times for sleep medical disorder diagnosis or subsidize private sleep clinics to encourage people to get checked out for sleep medical disorders.
2 The self reporting system to family doctors for Sleep Medical Disorder sufferers needs to be changed to avoid the tragedies that have occurred in the past. Eg; A narcoleptic driver causes a fatal crash and is back on the road driving five months later.
Public awareness needs to be raised on sleep medical disorders.
NRC MEMBER RESPONSIBILITY.
Ministry of Health