Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, and Minister for Primary Care, Social Care and Mental Health, Kathleen Lynch, have launched the new Diabetes Cycle of Care service for holders of medical cards and GP visit cards with Type 2 diabetes.
Qualifying patients will have two annual visits to their GP for a structured review of their condition. This includes a review and recording of blood results since registration, a review of their medication and lifestyle factors, a symptomatic foot review, continuing participation in the eye prevention programme and onward referral if appropriate, assessment of blood pressure, BMI, and further education about their diabetes.
Approximately 5.6 per cent of the adult population in Ireland, or 190,000 people, have diabetes, with Type 2 diabetes accounting for more than 85 per cent of these cases. It is estimated that 35,000 of Type 2 diabetes cases remain undiagnosed.
Minister Varadkar said: “This is a major step forward in expanding the scope of general practice into chronic disease management. It allows patients with Type 2 diabetes to be managed in the community, by their own GP and practice nurse they know, rather than in a hospital clinic where they might have to queue for hours to see a different doctor each time.
“This is better for patients and it also frees up hospital resources for more complex cases. I hope that the Diabetes Cycle of Care service will be used as a model for more chronic diseases to be looked after in the community, including COPD, asthma, and heart failure.”
Minister Lynch said: “Through the Diabetes Cycle of Care we are encouraging and facilitating people to play a greater role in managing their illness. The programme provides Medical Card and GP Visit Card holders with Type 2 diabetes with two dedicated GP visits a year to specifically monitor their condition. This should contribute to better health and as a result reduce the need for hospital visits and admissions.”
Patients can avail of the service in advance by asking their GP to register them. The pre-registration process commenced on September 8 and to date more than 31,000 patients have been registered.