A new study has revealed that the economic recession in Ireland is having a serious impact on the standard of care for young adults diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
The research, which looked at healthcare services for young adults with the condition, found that quality of these services was poor, especially for those living in small towns and rural areas without access to large hospitals.
“Healthcare services for many young adults with diabetes were characterised by long waiting times, inadequate continuity of care, over-reliance on junior doctors, and suboptimal professional-patient interaction times,” the researchers said.
“Many services lacked funding for diabetes education programmes, diabetes nurse specialists, insulin pumps, or for psychological support, though these services are extremely important components of high-quality type 1 diabetes healthcare.”
They added that a number of health services for young adults with type 1 diabetes did appear to be providing excellent quality of care, but these services were mainly concentrated in larger, more urban areas.
In addition, many of those polled for the study said they felt that access to basic services, such as speaking to consultants or foot care (podiatry), was only available at a cost.
“While Irish diabetes services lacked funding prior to the recessio, the economic decline in Ireland, and the subsequent austerity imposed on the Irish health service as a result of that decline, appears to be impacting them even further,” the researchers added.
According to official health statistics, around 30,000 people in Ireland have type 1 diabetes, and roughly 2,500 of these are under the age of 19.

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