More beds, more funding needed to curb eating disorders

NZ Herald 6 August 2017
The number of Kiwis getting medical intervention for eating disorders has increased by more than 40 per cent in the last five years.

But sufferers’ families say there are still not enough hospital beds to keep up with demand.

In 2011, Ministry of Health-funded specialist services treated 894 people who were critically unwell through illnesses such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders.

Last year, 1290 New Zealanders with severe eating disorders were treated through these services.

Four years ago the ministry said the number of beds in hospital mental health wards and residential facilities for people with severe eating disorders had increased from 12 to 27 since 2009.

Today however the ministry says it doesn’t know how many beds are allocated specifically to people battling eating disorders as its data does not identify mental health beds by diagnosis.
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