Offaly campaigner calls for improved services for Type 1 Diabetes patients
An Offaly native with Type 1 Diabetes and avid campaigner and blogger on the subject, Grainne Flynn, has questioned what she calls the "restrictive" nature of a government scheme to fund the Freestyle Libre glucose monitor.
"The announcement by the HSE to fund the monitor came with such severe restrictions that only a small number of children and young adults will be reimbursed. I would be surprised if this number was as large as 500 individuals," she said.
There are approximately 14,000 – 16,000 people with type 1 diabetes in Ireland. Based on the Irish Paediatric Diabetes Audit 2012 only 2,750 are children with type 1 diabetes.
"Most of those children use insulin pumps and are therefore excluded from this reimbursement scheme," she claimed.
She said that thousands of people with type 1 diabetes are effectively being denied access to this life changing diabetes device.
Diabetes Ireland have also questioned why the device is being restricted to only persons with Type 1 diabetes who use a multiple daily injection regime, and only persons under the age of young adult, when many in that age group are now using continuous insulin infusions (insulin pumps) and need to test glucose as frequently or more than a person on a multiple dose injection regime.
"I have been advocating for improvements in diabetes health care for over 10 years and this is a continuing discriminatory pattern towards adults with type 1 diabetes by the department of health and the HSE," Grainne said.
"We have seen no investment into the health services for adults with type 1 diabetes at all. We still have no national structured diabetes education programme and no standard access to insulin pumps in parts of the country," she added.
Members of the diabetes community in Ireland were so distressed by the announcement that they started a petition on January 23 and as of Wednesday, January 31, over 10,000 people have signed it.
"It is my hope to that the creators of this petition, Davina Lyon, will request a meeting with Minister Harris and the Department of Health to present this petition in the coming week."
Grainne Flynn has been an advocate and volunteer with Diabetes Ireland for over 10 years, is the founder of the Type 1 Diabetes Community Group, Thriveabetes.ie, and a creator and blogger on the condition at BloodSugarTrampoline.com.
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