Hundreds of people with diabetes have to travel to Dublin or pay privately for care because the HSE has not given the goahead to recruit a specialist who could allow them be cared for at Portlaoise hospital, a Sinn Féin TD has claimed.
Laois Offaly TD Brian Stanley wants the situation which he claims 'blocks' the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise from providing full services to Type 1 diabetics needs to be resolved.
“I have highlighted this in the past that the Insulin pump clinic services for adults cannot operate without a senior dietician. While there is an excellent insulin pump clinic for children, the same service is not available for adults.
"The Portlaoise Diabetic Clinic has a catchment area of not just Laois but also north Tipperary, Offaly and south Kildare. My information is that there are between 400 to 500 hundred adults that are Type 1 diabetic who are registered with Portlaoise hospital. They must currently travel to Dublin and pay privately. For those who cannot afford this they are left in limbo.
"Portlaoise hospital has made a case in at least three occasions for funding to recruit a senior dietician, but this has not been approved by the HSE or Department of Health," he said.
The TD said the issue is also affecting teenagers.
“There are currently up to a dozen adolescence who have now become of age who should be transferred to adult services but cannot because it is not available to them," he said.
Dep Stanley claimed it is widely accepted that people who are diabetic need to receive the appropriate services and where these are not provided leads to further medical complications and difficulties.
"This again leads to further costs on the health system and patients not to mention the deterioration of their health," he said.
The Laois TD called on Minister Stephen Donnelly to step in.
“I am calling on the Minister for Health to recognise the importance of this service and provide the modest amount of funding required to employ a fulltime senior dietician in Portlaoise hospital,’’ said the TD.
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