Diabetes advocacy group to launch “Half the Services, Half the Care” campaign.
Diabetes Action, a new diabetes advocacy group, will launch its first national campaign called “Half the Services, Half the Care” next Saturday (11th September 2010). The two-year campaign aims to influence health policy by mobilising grassroots support from Ireland’s growing diabetes community.
“Half the Services, Half the Care” will help people to contact their local politicians about a specific health issue and local services, introducing a new topic every 3 months, each of which affects the health and well being of people with diabetes. The campaign aims to make politicians aware that people with diabetes need specific services and will ask them to lobby the HSE to have long needed diabetes health policies implemented.
“About 5-7% of Irish people have diabetes and this number is set to increase by 60% over the next ten years. Ireland is at a tipping-point when it comes to diabetes and this is why the diabetes community needs to raise their voices with policy makers now”.
Diabetes Action will also be promoting public awareness of the symptoms and risks of diabetes with radio adverts to coincide with the launch of the “Half the Services, Half the Care” campaign.
People with diabetes are affected by a variety of health issues. Children, adults and older people with diabetes all need specific services and care. The health complications associated with diabetes are also treated in a range of different medical settings. Because of this complications connected with diabetes are not often associated in people’s minds with an underlying diagnosis of this chronic condition.
This lack of recognition is reflected in Irish health policy which does not deal with diabetes in a strategic manner. The result is a health policy which fails people with diabetes by neglecting to put in place the kind of targeted services needed to diagnose and control a chronic illness. Diabetes Action says a perfect example of this ineffective policy can be seen in podiatry services – the first health issue covered in the “Half the Services, Half the Care” campaign.
“At the launch of our campaign we will be highlighting the vast resources which are consumed in treating preventable diabetic foot disease”. New research by Diabetes Action will show the national and regional cost of foot complications and propose measures to dramatically cut costs.
Diabetes Action will also be launching their web-side www.diabetesaction.ie which will be a targeted campaigning tool for the public to use during the two-year advocacy initiative.
People with diabetes are needlessly developing foot complications which often lead to amputations and prolonged immobility. Diabetes Action will be calling for affordable and cost-effective policy measures which can save limbs and hundreds of millions of euro.