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Mon 12th November
Mr Ramsey was speaking ahead of an Assembly debate taking place later today on a Diabetes Strategy. He said:
“I share the concerns of many about the increase in the number of people diagnosed with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and in particular the increase in Type 1 diabetes amongst children. It is essential that the Minister for Health deals with this worrying trend by properly resourcing a Diabetes Strategy.
“According to the report ‘Diabetes in Northern Ireland: the human social and economic challenge’ published by C3, Novo Nordisk and Diabetes UK in 2011. There has been a 33% raise in those diagnosed with diabetes here in the last 5 year, the highest proportion of any region in the UK, from just under 57,000 in 2007 to just under 76,000 this year.
“That is a worrying statistic, compounded further when we delve into the numbers provided by Diabetes UK – take for example my own constituency where over the last 5 years over 1,100 more people have been diagnosed with diabetes. That is higher than the regional average.
“The number of people in this region who have diabetes has rocketed by 41% between 2005-2011. There are over 1,000 under 16’s who have Type 1 diabetes. Approximately 85% of diabetes cases in Northern Ireland are Type 2, a massive 80% of these could have been prevented by lifestyle changes.
“The focus of any resourced diabetes strategy must balance treatment with preventative measures. In the decade between 2000 and 2010 the number of diabetes related death rose by 128%. The cost to the economy must be emphasised – diabetes is costing the Executive £1 million per day – every day. This, coupled with the lost working time and early deaths, is hard to quantify both in social and economic terms.
“In balancing preventative measures and treatment we must ensure that local services are accessible to people who may want to get checked, to get advice and to access services.
“GP’s and Diabetic nurses have an ever-increasing work load, and it is our job to complement their work, to ensure they have the resources they need and the guidance to ensure that as a public health issue, diabetes is receiving due care and attention.”
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