A report published on World Diabetes Day indicates that, although treatment has improved in recent years, the failure to properly implement policies has led to an overall lack of success in combating the disease throughout Europe.
The document, titled Diabetes in Europe: Policy Puzzle – The State We Are I, is based on information collected by the European Coalition for Diabetes. It monitors the development of national policies for diabetes treatment in 47 European countries.
Positively, the report indicates that 30 countries have a national diabetes register. Moreover, 30 countries have a diabetes plan, while another ten have intend to develop one in the future. Collecting data is key to building effective policies: without diabetes registers and plans, it is difficult to guarantee high-quality diabetes care.
Unfortunately, 83 per cent of the national registers are incomplete. The Czech Republic is the only country whose diabetes plan includes a system of evaluation. Neither does any other country analyse the cost-effectiveness of their plan.
Anne-Marie Felto, co-chair of the steering committee of the report, commented that: “In the current context where politicians across Europe repeatedly stress the need to reduce health expenditure and make healthcare systems more sustainable, it is alarming to see that cost-effectiveness analysis of policies is almost absent.
“Sadly, we see that prevention also remains poorly funded throughout Europe.”
Although the rhetoric of the “epidemic” generally refers to the increased incidence of type 2 diabetes caused by unhealthy lifestyles, the report underlines that there are problems with the care of both type 1 and type 2 patients. In fact, type 2 diabetes is often undiagnosed until at least one complication sets in. Kidney failure and eye disease (retinopathy) were identified in the report as having inadequate screening services.

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