Letter to the Editor: More investment in prevention

Letter to the Editor: More investment in prevention

For the first time in I don’t know how many decades, we are building a hospital. And a national children’s hospital at that.

It’s very needed and should’ve been here yesterday. The cost of this much-needed hospital has politicians flapping and tongues wagging and I’ve lost track of how many times the public accounts committee has challenged the figure. Let’s remember that this is a one-time build cost and that’s it’s probably a very good price for a new hospital.

However, €1.45bn EVERY YEAR is spent on diabetes care and nobody bats an eye. Not a peep! There should be an uproar that 60% of that €1.45bn is spent on treating preventable complications if more was invested in their prevention.

The number of people with diabetes who develop complications is rising every year: the number of limb amputations and hospital admissions is increasing year on year, which the International Diabetes Federation deems “Diabetic Amputations: a ‘Shameful Metric’ of Inadequate Care”.

One in four people with diabetes are being treated for diabetic kidney disease and approximately 2,750 people with diabetes are living with blindness or serious vision impairment in Ireland. Yet, this is a prevention conversation that isn’t happening.

Investment in patient education and information is shameful in fact there has been little or no investment in the last 10 years. 

Yet, this self-management support for people with diabetes investment would reduce diabetes complications drastically. 

We would give people with diabetes a fighting chance of a good quality of life, reduce the number of people on disability and save lives.

Gráinne Flynn

Advocate
Diabetes Ireland

This reader's opinion was originally published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on 17 June 2019.

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