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O’Reilly calls for move to ‘Smart’ Diabetes Technology on World Diabetes Day

14 November, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking on World Diabetes Day, Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has called for the Minister for Health Simon Harris to take the opportunity to rollout ‘Smart’ Diabetes Technology under the Long Term Illness Scheme for those suffering from diabetes.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Living with diabetes is incredibly difficult and requires constant vigilance taking a severe toll physically and mentally.

“That difficulty is compounded by the hours spent each week as sufferers carefully track blood glucose levels, food intake and physical exercise in order to calculate when and how much insulin should be injected into their bodies.

“Despite the enormous strides made as regards research, there is still no cure and, as a result, diabetes is included under the Long Term Illness (LTI) Scheme. Due to being designated as a long term illness, people with diabetes receive their drugs, medicines and medical and surgical appliances for the treatment free of charge.

“However, much of what is covered under the LTI scheme for people with diabetes is still rather rudimentary, particularly when it comes to blood glucose monitoring. The current practice requires blood to be drawn through finger pricks for each test, which causes pain and inconvenience. Each test also requires a new test-strip, contributing to the recurring cost of such a device.

“Despite the advancements when it comes to electronic blood glucose monitoring, those receiving treatments under the LTI scheme still only receive blood glucose monitoring strips. This is in spite of the body of evidence pointing towards smart diabetes technology, such as non-invasive electronic blood glucose monitors, not only being better for patients in the way diabetes is controlled and monitored, but in the long run it may also be cost neutral to the state.

“Therefore, I am calling on the Minister for Health to move to updating the LTI book to include smart diabetes technology such as non-invasive electronic blood glucose monitors and to construct a chronic diseases register similar to the registry collated by the National Cancer Registry.” 

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