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Renewed national diabetes strategy is needed to tackle longstanding issues – Byrne

12th January 2023 - Senator Maria Byrne

A renewed approach to diabetes in the form of a national strategy is much needed to tackle prominent issues facing those with the condition, said a Fine Gael Senator.

Limerick Senator, Maria Byrne, is calling for a fresh focus and a revitalised plan to identify the most pressing areas of concern.

Senator Byrne said: “Diabetes is a lifelong condition that requires adequate supports and continuous monitoring. We often shed a light on the preventative measures one can take for Type 2 Diabetes, particularly via The National Diabetes Prevention Program which was created in 2010. However, people require consistent support.

“Last year, I met with Diabetes Ireland, who referenced longstanding inconsistencies when it comes to treatment. For instance, there is currently an age restriction in place for those who need to access the Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) device, Freestyle Libre.

“Those eligible for access to the device are children and young adults aged 4-21 years. Although the HSE has statutory responsibility for decisions on pricing, easy access to this product is crucial for those with diabetes. Coordination on this is essential.

“The online application process does cater for the consultant to make an application in very exceptional circumstances for those above 21 years of age. This is simply not good enough. Age should never be a barrier when it comes to access lifesaving technology.

“The Minister for Health acknowledged the need for this device to be readily available last year. We now need action and a completely new vision when it comes to proper access to care.

“Furthermore, an update on the removal of this age restriction is required as patients in this situation do not need any unnecessary delays.

“A high-quality national diabetes service is needed to monitor the reoccurring issues those with diabetes are facing on a daily basis,” concluded Senator Byrne.

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