Diabetes Clinics Down Under Cut Patients’ Waiting Times

Special diabetes care clinics are slashing patients’ waiting times to see a diabetes educator, medics inAustraliareport.  The clinics also ease the load on general public health facilities, which have been stretched by the diabetes epidemic.

Like most developed countries,Australiahas seen a ballooning of diabetes statistics in the last few decades, and with it a strain on national health services caused by the disease and its side effects.  It is now the single largest cause of death for Australians and the most quickly growing disease.

Up to a million Australians have diabetes, with around 90% of cases being of type 2, which affects people who are older, overweight and have poorer lifestyles in terms of diet and exercise.  If people with pre-diabetes are included, the figure rises to nearer three million, and there are expected to be 4.5 million cases of diabetes by 2014.  Type 2 diabetes costsAustraliathree billion Australian dollars a year, or 12% of the total health bill for the country.

Queensland’s QML Pathology, a private practice based in Queensland and New South Wales, has opened a new diabetes care clinic at Ipswich in south east Queensland.  It joins several bulk-billed health centers in the area designed to ease the pressure on general health centers by catering for diabetics.

The clinics cut waiting lists for patients waiting to see doctors and to receive counseling from diabetes educators, which in the past has meant a wait of around six month.  Now both existing and new patients will benefit from the designated diabetic clinics.

After a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, early counseling and education is vital to the patient’s health, with better outcomes and symptom management associated with better and sooner counseling.  Thanks to the new clinics,Queenslanddiabetics can now be seen within a fortnight, with newly diagnosed patients getting priority.

Some patients have an even greater need for early counseling and education: as the diabetes epidemic attacks younger and younger people, many will have to live with diabetes for much larger periods of their lives.  As doctors are now seeing patients presenting with type2 diabetes in their 20s, early care is needed to enable these people to live as normal and healthy a life as possible.

Side effects of this disease, if it is not managed well, can include heart attacks, strokes, blindness, nerve damage, and kidney disease.  Minimizing symptoms by staying as healthy as possible is vital for every diabetic, and especially for those who have the larger part of their life still before them.

Frequently diabetes goes undiagnosed for long periods because there are minimal symptoms or because the patient is ignorant of symptoms, and because he does not feel ill enough to consult a doctor.  The new diabetic clinics mean anyone with any diabetic symptom can see a doctor quickly and get the help he needs.

If you have vision problems, numbness, pain or tingling in your hands and feet, feel very tired for no reason or find yourself drinking and needing to pee far more than normal, this could be a symptom of the disease and medical advice should be sought.

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