– Health Minister
The Ministry of Health has reached new heights in addressing the problem of diabetes mellitus, according to Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy.
The Minister says that while regular foot care is being emphasised as one of the major factors in diabetic care, the Ministry has introduced a sophisticated method that involves the use of equipment, which can help doctors to anticipate diabetic complications that can occur.
This is being done at the Georgetown Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
According to Dr Ramsammy, regular foot care programmes are in place at several health centres and health centre officials can refer their patients to the GPHC to have additional examinations done.
“We do not just have the screening at the health centres but we also have a referral centre that detects problems and also makes prescriptions in terms of prosthesis. A lot of diabetics develop imbalance in their feet because of how they walk and so on which create problems for their backbone.
“We can adjust their walking pattern by adjusting their shoes using this sophisticated system.”
The Minister says that the public health sector has been making quiet progress even as he stressed the notion that his Ministry has been “walking the walk and talking the talk.”
“Diabetes is now a priority issue. It has been for some time and we will work together so that it does not ravish us…As long as somebody is losing their sight, their limbs, their kidneys and as long as people develop neurological problems because of diabetes it will remain a priority for us,” Minister Ramsammy pledged.
However, as Minister of Health, Dr. Ramsammy confessed that there is no way that he could guarantee that “we will be able to sustain funding all of these things, but whether we introduce cost recovery for some of these things or not is a question we have to address and we will talk as a nation about how to approach these things.”
He assured though that as long as he is Health Minister “no technology will be beyond us. As long as there are technologies that can impact on the prevention and management of diabetes in our country we will embrace them.”
The Minister divulged that the Ministry has already made it easier for diabetic children who require insulin as he has committed to ensuring that they are afforded the latest technology in injection.
“As those things improve our children will always have access to that technology, whether the private sector helps us or not. The Ministry of Health will pick up the slack when the private sector is unable or unwilling to help our children.”
According to the Minister, as long as the available technologies make sense and as long as there is requisite information, the Health Ministry will ensure that every physician, nurse, technologist, pharmacist and citizen know about them.
He added though that when it comes to knowledge dissemination it is not only about what the patients and citizens in general should know in terms of the services, pointing out that there must be extensive collaboration with local health officials and the ministry.
“It is not only what we provide but it also about demand…A great programme is what we will be able to develop together,” the minister asserted.
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