The Malta Independent 20 August 2019, Tuesday

PN proposes diabetes specialist nurses, extensive register of diabetics

Wednesday, 15 May 2019, 11:51 Last update: about 4 months ago

The Nationalist Party continued to unveil proposals in the health sector, this time proposing the introduction of diabetes specialist nurses and an extensive register of diabetics available to professionals along with other measures.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, PN MEP and MEP candidate Francis Zammit Dimech – who co-chairs the European Parliament’s diabetes working group – spoke of the need for an extensive register of diabetics so that there is co-ordinated information on all patients available to professionals.

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PN MP Mario Galea meanwhile spoke of the need for diabetes specialist nurses, saying that these nurses – who would be more accessible to patients, take care of them and also teach them on how to take care of themselves in terms of nutrition and lifestyle – would reduce the need for patients to go to hospital and also reduce the number of amputations that arise from diabetes.

Both Galea and Zammit Dimech were pleased to see their appeals for the introduction of continuous glucose monitors be met, but noted that these monitors are yet to be rolled out to patients.

Zammit Dimech elicited complaints by diabetics about new machines that have been provided to them by the government, with the main complaint being that the machine does not mark the person’s blood-sugar level correctly – instead marking it higher than usual.

Zammit Dimech said that it is positive to have such machines, but the best option must be provided to patients.

The PN MEP also spoke of the need for more blood tests, sharing of information and research on this matter between European Union countries, and for a concerted effort to make people more conscious of diabetes and its effects.

PN MEP candidate Michael Mercieca said that diabetes affects a number of Maltese and Gozitans and is born out of a number of things such as lifestyle, nutrition and environment.  He said that the EU is putting a lot of work in diabetes and noted that it is good that elected MEPs work towards more studies and research sharing between EU countries.

Separate studies quoted by Mercieca and Zammit Dimech note that there are currently 33 million people suffering from diabetes in the EU, a number which could hit 38 million by the year 2030.  By that time, the expenses caused by diabetes worldwide could hit €2.5 trillion.

 

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