Survey launched about epilepsy services

News article

14 March 2018

New Zealanders with epilepsy and people supporting them have been invited to have their say on which health services work well and what can be improved.

The Ministry of Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Andrew Simpson, says 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.


It is estimated that about 47,000 New Zealanders have been diagnosed with epilepsy. About six people hear the diagnosis that they have epilepsy every day, making it a common condition.

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

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