Plan to improve local diabetes services to keep people well and out of hospital

Plan to improve local diabetes services to keep people well and out of hospital

18 July 2013

Local primary healthcare organisation, Northern Sydney Medicare Local (NSML), is reviewing the latest data from NSW Health that shows patient complications due to type 2 diabetes contributed to 1,611 days in local hospitals. In these cases, the hospital admissions were deemed potentially preventable.

This week is Diabetes Awareness Week and NSML is highlighting how it will improve diabetes services to one of the higher type 2 diabetes risk groups that reside in the Hornsby, Ryde, Ku-ring-gai and Hunters Hills areas.

NSML Director - General Practice, Cynthia Stanton said By targeting those at greater risk of type 2 diabetes and improving access to diabetes services and education, our aim is to keep people well and out of hospital.

As part of its plan to improve the quality of local diabetes services, NSML found that a gap in access to culturally-appropriate education for the local Chinese community was not being adequately addressed.

There are a significant percentage of Chinese-born residents in the NSML catchment area and evidence supports that those of Asian background can carry a higher incidence of type 2 diabetes than the population average.

We need to create tailored and culturally-appropriate education for members of our Chinese community. To do this, we plan to work with training providers from the Australian Diabetes Council to up-skill healthcare providers including GPs, nurses and Allied Health professionals such as Dieticians, continued Cynthia.

Whilst people of Chinese origin have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes, the disease does not discriminate. Lifestyle behaviours including low levels of physical activity, being overweight or obese and poor nutrition can contribute to the onset of the disease.

Its important that high-risk groups speak to their GP or a Diabetes Educator about diabetes prevention, because lifestyle changes can contribute greatly to preventing this disease, concluded Cynthia.

Diabetes Educators are currently available through Ryde and Hornsby Hospitals. These Educators can provide education around self-management of diabetes.

Compared to the NSW average of 5.5%, diabetes rates locally are under the average. The latest data from Diabetes Australia found 5.1% of people living in Ryde and 4.2% of people in Hornsby have the disease, compared to 3.4% and 3.8% of people in the Hunters Hill and Ku-ring-gai local government areas respectively.

Quick facts about type 2 diabetes

  • About 280 Australians develop type 2 diabetes every day
  • At least 2 million Australians have pre-diabetes and are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Diabetes is Australias fastest growing chronic disease
  • Type 2 diabetes can be prevented in up to 58% of cases in the high-risk population.
  • Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in Australia.
  • Type 2 diabetes represents approximately 90% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes can be prevented through lifestyle behavioural changes, supported by changes to the social determinants of health.

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