Cyprus: Four times the rate of amputations due to diabetes from Europe

What was mentioned in the Health Committee of the Parliament

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The number of mutilations due to diabetes in Cyprus is four times higher than the numbers in Europe and the reasons are that there are no organized centers for diabetes in Cyprus and there is no enlightenment, it was reported on Thursday before the Parliamentary Committee on Health.

It was also mentioned that in the coming months, medicines for diabetics who have not been included in the GESS so far will be included.

The Parliamentary Health Committee continued the discussion on the problems faced by Cyprus in the treatment of people with diabetes, the need to update the National Strategy and to introduce state-of-the-art medical devices in the General Health System.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Efthymios Diplaros, in his statements after the end of the session said that they have heard and recorded all the views from both the OAU and the Ministry of Health "and I must say that what has been said is correct direction".

"The first and most important point is that the Ministry of Health recognizes the need for a relevant update of the National Strategy. Procedure, which will be facilitated through the National Diabetes Commission. In other words, we are waiting for the complete update and change of the whole strategy regarding diabetes ", he added.

As he said, "at the same time, the Ministry of Health has informed us that the preparation of an action plan will proceed, which will include costing of these actions as well as implementation schedules".

"It has been said regarding the School Service that now the Ministry of Health, the 18 to 20 people, the officials, who have been hired and will join the schools or had joined and dealt with the pandemic, now from next September the only issue, for "What they will do will be to support the children and certainly the support of the children in the schools that suffer from diabetes", he noted.

He added, in addition, that as has been said by the Ministry of Health, there will now be the integration of state-of-the-art medical devices in the GESS.

"Here, the Ministry of Health, with its decision, immediately promoted the procedures for securing equipment and consumables in anticipation of the completion of the procedures by the OAU. The decision covers the needs of consumable equipment for children up to 18 years old with diabetes 1, with specific administration of insulin through a transdermal pump, but also the continuous recording of glucose through a special sensor, which will be available through Limassol General Hospital and Makareio Hospital ". completed.

He added that the offer has already been registered, the contracts have been signed and the whole process is progressing.

"However, a process that is, unfortunately, and is the second issue, in progress by the Competent Authority, the Department of Procurement and Procurement, of the Ministry of Health is the offer for the device for continuous sugar recording. The contract has been awarded and is expected to be signed within the next week. As for the insulin pumps, unfortunately an appeal has been lodged through the Bidding Review Authority, a hearing was scheduled for around 12 July. "We want and hope that the Review Authority will run the process much sooner, so that the Ministry of Health can proceed with the signing of these contracts," he said.

He also said that it has been said by all the members of the Health Committee that the period until the award is made and this offer should be supported by the families of the patients either with an allowance or with a financial aid, so that they can be on their own to procure the specific diabetes recorders.

"It should be mentioned that a specific memorandum was also submitted by the OAU. Health is that in about three to four months we will come back to see the timetables and see how we are doing… The positive thing through the whole discussion is that now everyone recognizes that the National Strategy for Tackling Diabetes needs to be updated and we will wait "Let's see in practice what actions will be taken and what this update will be", he added.

AKEL MP Nikos Kettiros, in his statements, said that promises were made today that things will move forward in terms of access to medicines.

"During the discussion, something very important and serious was mentioned regarding the mutilations in Cyprus, which are four times more than the numbers in Europe. The reasons why there are four times more amputations are that there are no organized centers for diabetes, as well as the fact that enlightenment is non-existent. "It was typically reported that there are patients who go to the hospital with an advanced problem that leads to amputation and the diagnosis of diabetes is made at that time", he added.

The state, said Mr. Kettiros, has a responsibility and should launch an information campaign.

Regarding the integration of specific equipment and especially with regard to children, Mr. Kettiros said that after pressure from the Commission, the issue has progressed in relation to the contactless sensors that are placed on children.

"These sensors will soon be available at the Limassol General Hospital and at the Makareio Hospital in Nicosia. Regarding the issue with insulin pumps, as we were informed, there may be an issue as there has been an appeal to the Tender Review Authority for an amount which is estimated at around 1m. euros ", he noted.

As he stated, "knowing that these procedures take time, as AKEL we proposed to the competent officials of the Ministry of Health the possibility to be paid as compensation the amount that should be paid for the purchase of pumps, directly to patients, so that they can proceed to until the matter is settled in the Tender Review Authority ". "We have conveyed this suggestion and we hope that the procedures will be completed before July 15," he added.

DIKO MP Chrysanthos Savvidis, in statements, told him that as they were told in the Committee, the Reference Hospital for this issue is the Larnaca Hospital.

"And as we have been told, we have four times the number of amputations in Europe, and that says there is no specific unit for foot diabetes. As he usually says, most of those who have a problem with information about this are people who come from the Province. That is, they do not receive proper information and most of them realize that they have a diabetes problem when they go to the hospital. "And when they go to the hospital it is in the final stage that amputation needs to be done", he added.

Therefore, Mr. Savvidis noted, "as a state we should give impetus to the information but also to specialize a team regarding foot diabetes".

EDEK MP Andreas Apostolou, in his statements, said that "we are optimistic because in both meetings there was a substantive discussion and specific decisions have been made and specific schedules have been set.

"First of all, our position on the need to update the National Strategy for Diabetes, which was prepared in 2016, was accepted. There is a commitment from the Ministry of Health that an updated Strategy with specific objectives will be published in the next six months. "Our position has been accepted that issues related to the Ministry of Welfare and issues concerning the Ministry of Education should be included in the National Strategy for the information and support of children with Type 1 diabetes attending our schools." , he added.

In the immediate future, continued Mr. Apostolou, the Chairman of the National Committee will make a suggestion for the participation of both Ministries in the National Committee that will determine the new Strategy.

"We are pleased to hear from the Health Insurance Organization that in the coming months medicines for diabetics who have not been included in the Health System so far are included and an optimistic short schedule has been given, accepted by the Pancyprian Medical Association and the company. "Thirdly, we have heard the OAU admit that it should integrate into the Health System what we have been saying from the beginning, namely state-of-the-art machines that will help the quality of life of diabetics, such as insulin infusion pumps and automatic glucose monitoring." completed.

These, continued Mr. Apostolou, will be integrated into the Health System gradually, until the next six months, there is a commitment from the OAU.

"We have also heard and been pleased that there are advanced discussions on the recognition of the specialty of the diabetologist, so that doctors who have specific academic knowledge and experience in treating our fellow human beings with diabetes, can have this certification and Our fellow human beings who suffer from diabetes also know which doctors are certified with this specialization. We are optimistic that the issue that was opened in the House of Representatives and with the contribution of all colleagues in the Committee on Health, Patients' Associations, doctors, OAY, the Ministry of Health that the coming months are better days for our fellow human beings with diabetes " , he added.

As he said, "without zeroing, but also without beautifying things, we know what needs to be done."

"We have set a specific timetable. All stakeholders have realized their responsibilities and I am optimistic that with the acceptance of the proposal, that in October or November the Health Committee will discuss this issue again, in four-five months from today we will be on track to implement what I have he mentions ", he concluded.