Cork North West TD, Michael Creed has called for the implementation of a National foot screening programme as proposed by the Diabetes Federation of Ireland. Commenting on figures provided by the Diabetes Federation of Ireland, Deputy Creed said:
“Diabetes is at an epidemic rate in this country with an estimated 150,000 sufferers. Diabetics are prone to developing nerve damage in their feet and legs which can lead to the development infection or ulceration of the leg or foot. The figures are startling with 6000 ulcers being recorded by the HSE between 2005 and 2009. Tragically 1500 of these ulcers, which are prone to gangrene led to lower limb amputation”.
“In Cork North West alone there were 202 diabetics who had to endure lower amputation. The DFI estimate that 70% of amputees inevitably lose the other leg within 18 months. 40% of people who lose a leg through amputation will die within 5 years.”
“From a taxpayers perspective, the implementation of a screening programme would lead to significant savings. €239 million was spent treating diabetes related illnesses in the 05-09 period. This figure could be reduced by 40-70% according to the DFI of a national screening programme were to be implemented”.
“In my Constituency it is estimated that preventable diabetes related foot diseases have cost €23.3 million since 2005. Services in Cork North West are currently in crisis with the withdrawal of podiatry services in Macroom hospital since January of this year. I have raised this matter with the HSE and I have tabled an adjournment debate in the Dáil on this important issue”.
“The implementation of a national foot screening programme makes sense for so many reasons. Most importantly it will save lives, safeguard the well-being and lifestyles of diabetics throughout the Country while at the same time providing value for taxpayers money. However the HSE and Minister Harney continue to do their business in a short sighted incremental manner”.