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New combined measures are needed to improve diabetes care

New combined measures are needed to improve diabetes care

This is what the Diabetes Barometer 2023 shows. Here, Östergötland finishes in sixth place, which shows that there are still significant development needs in diabetes care in the province.

The Diabetes Barometer 2023 is based on statistics from the National Diabetes Register and survey answers from 3,530 members of the Swedish Diabetes Association. A total of 15 factors were analysed. It is important to understand that diabetes is a complex chronic disease, which requires regular contact with health care to avoid short- and long-term health risks and ensure a good quality of life for the individual.

If we want to achieve quality, close care and make it more equal across the country, continuity must be improved. When members point to what has deteriorated the most compared to last year, this is precisely the area. In the county of Östergötland, where about 20,000 people live with diabetes, about one in six people answer that the continuum of diabetes care works poorly.

Lack of consistency is a particular problem for diabetics. This disease is stressful for the individual and requires regular care. For example, people with well-treated type 2 diabetes should see their primary care twice a year.

When people with diabetes do not have regular contact with the same healthcare workers, the risk of worsening self-care and missing early signs of complications increases. This, of course, affects the individual, but it also leads to higher costs for treating complications. The latter account for about 70 percent of diabetes care costs.

We know that the region is in a very difficult economic situation, but we need to develop and improve diabetes care in Östergötland County together. When asked how care has improved where they receive help and support for diabetes, 11% in Östergötland County said that care is working worse than in 2022, while 10% answered that it is working better.

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This is a challenge that political decision-makers in the region should not ignore, otherwise we risk facing very high costs in the future. This will be the outcome if we are to manage the costs of serious complications and loss of production as a result of diabetes.

This is unsustainable both for those of us living with the disease and for the region’s already stretched budget.