Diabetes care in Ireland worst in western Europe

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Ireland provides the worst standard of care of countries for those suffering Diabetes in western Europe according to a new study, coming 20th in the overall list.

Out of the 30 countries surveyed by the Health Consumer Powerhouses’s Euro Diabetes Index, only eastern and southern European countries were found to provide poorer care than Ireland.

Sweden came top, followed by the Netherlands and then Denmark, while the UK came fourth in the list.

The study outlined the reasons for the UK scoring 812 overall points over Ireland’s 612 points, citing poor follow-up procedures following initial GP treatment.

“A good illustration is provided by comparing care delivery of Ireland and the UK. In Ireland, care is delivered in a variety of ways to patients with diabetes including traditional mixed care, hospital-led care, shared care arrangements and primary care-led management,” it reads.

“At GP level, care is often ad-hoc reflected by the absence of patient registries, irregular review and the lack of guideline use among GP’s.

“Access to essential support is variable and inconsistent with multiple providers of services, often influenced by whether a patient is attending the public or private health system.

“In England and Wales, diabetes care delivery is supported by an infrastructure including a dedicated policy framework, screening programmes, robust IT systems in general practice and a financial incentive structure.”

However, the death rate of those with diabetes has dropped dramatically since 2006 from 11.07 deaths per 1,000 diabetes sufferers to 9.52. This is in line with an overall drop across the European countries, which also notes that in the mid 80s, Malta suffered from a 3 figure death rate per 1,000 sufferers.

The report also calls on the nations surveyed to engage in making people more aware of diabetes using social media.

  • According to the index, Europe is home to the highest number of children with Type 1 diabetes in the world.
  • In 2013, more than 32 million Europeans live with diabetes, i.e. 8.1% of the population.
  • By 2035, the population living with diabetes is expected to increase to 38 million. 
  • Only 50% of the population with diabetes have been diagnosed. 
  • Over 50% of adults with diabetes fail to reach the levels of blood sugar required.
  • In 2013, Europe spent €106bn on treating diabetes.
  • One in ten deaths in Europe can be attributed to diabetes – equalling 619.000 deaths in 2013.

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