Donegal Diabetes Patients continue to be ignored
Donegal Diabetes Patients continue to be ignored – Mac Lochlainn
Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig MacLochlainn has renewed his criticism of the Government over the ongoing failure to adequately resource and overhaul diabetes services in Donegal.
His comments come as patients here increasingly report experiencing significant challenges in accessing podiatry services locally and concerns have arisen over the lack of supports for pregnant diabetes patients. Meanwhile a long awaited centre of excellence for diabetes care for the northwest has still yet to materialise.
The Donegal Senator is now calling on the Minister and Letterkenny hospital management to urgently examine the situation in a bid to ease the fears of patients.
Senator MacLochlainn said:
“As we all know the members of the Donegal branch of Diabetes Ireland have been to the fore in campaigning and lobbying for change in the way services are delivered here across the county.
“The association has passionately fought to keep the issue of diabetes care the focus of attention, and their members have tirelessly worked to get senior officials, Oireachtas members and the Minister together to listen to their genuine concerns about, what has for too long, been a service in crisis.
“In fact last year, the data with respect to services for adults with Type 1 diabetes revealed that patients had been waiting up to a year for routine appointments and up to 2 years for all recall appointments, despite the HSE’s own guidelines which recommend they be reviewed every 6 months.
“And while we know that Donegal has the requisite numbers of adults and children living with diabetes as well as the necessary critical mass to warrant locating a centre of excellence for diabetes care here, we’ve yet to see the type of progress we’d like to have such a long awaited facility delivered.
“What we are now hearing from patients is that many of them are facing huge waits to access podiatry services which, as we know, are crucial to avoid the emergence of complications associated with the disease such as diabetic foot.
“It’s well documented that people with diabetes run a significantly greater risk of developing one or more severe health complications due to the condition compared to the general population including neuropathy, kidney damage, eye damage and – in serious cases if unchecked – even amputations.
Concerns have also been voiced about the serious lack of supports for pregnant diabetes patients in the county.
“Given the significant challenges patients here now face, my colleague Deputy Pearse Doherty and I have voiced their concerns to both the Minister and hospital management because clearly this situation cannot go unresolved.
“Patients here deserve and have the right to access and receive treatment in a timely manner and should have access to services on par with those in other parts of the country.
“Shamefully however, the current government seems quite happy to oversee this ‘post-code lottery’ when it comes to providing services to diabetes sufferers across the northwest and that is simply not acceptable.”