#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 27 October 2020
Advertisement

'We need to up our game': Call for national registry as HSE unable to estimate prevalence of diabetes

The HSE said its inability to verify this data is a significant problem for the health service.

Image: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

FIANNA FÁIL TD John Brassil has said the HSE must establish a National Diabetes Registry after the health service revealed it was unable to estimate the prevalence of the disease in Ireland.

Brassil recently asked in a parliamentary question for the estimated incidence of Type 1 diabetes in Ireland.

“I was astonished to find out that the HSE was unable to answer the question and instead based its estimate on prevalence here by assuming the same incidence as Scotland,” he said.

“It is a remarkable admission especially given that the HSE admits that diabetes is an increasingly common and costly chronic disease. Diabetes affects people from all walks of life and is now regarded as an epidemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO),” Brassil said.

The HSE, in its response to Brassil, said the absence of a national registry”represents a significant problem” for the health service as it attempts to tackle diabetes. 

“In contrast to the situation in Ireland, our nearest neighbour Scotland maintains a national diabetes registry and is able to track the prevalence of diabetes year-on-year,” it said.

Using Scottish estimates, the HSE said the estimated number of people in Ireland with Type 1 diabetes is 26,608. It said Ireland needs its own registry to enable the health service to “move on from estimates to real verifiable data”. 

“Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks and stroke,” Brassil said.

“It is also a big factor in lower limb amputations, of which there were 511 in Ireland in 2016. Almost half of all deaths attributable to high blood glucose occur before the age of 70 years, and the WHO estimates that diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in 2016.

“It is obvious that we need to up our game in relation to this disease. But if we are to do so we really need to know the extent of its prevalence here in our own country.”

Read next:

COMMENTS (11)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel