Connacht/Ulster MEP Jim Higgins has described the level of care for diabetes patients in Mayo as ‘an absolute shambles,’ writes Edwin McGreal.
Speaking after a Mayo News investigation last month into the level of care for children with Type 1 diabetes, Mr Higgins said that the two diabetic nurses and one consultant working in diabetes care at Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar are ‘completely overwhelmed’.
While the HSE confirmed to The Mayo News in our investigation that funding for a consultant endocrinologist (a diabetes specialist) at Mayo General had been approved, Higgins is taking the same approach as his Fine Gael colleague John O’Mahony TD in taking a ‘wait and see’ approach but he has his doubts as to how effective that appointment, if it comes through, might be for children with Type 1 diabetes (who must be treated via insulin injections).
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune deficiency where the pancreas fails to produce insulin naturally while Type 2 is, more often than not, related to diet problems.
There are approximately 100 Type 1 cases in Mayo, only five per cent of the total percentage of diabetes patients in Mayo.
“We will wait and see what happens,” Mr Higgins told The Mayo News. “There is only one child endocrinologist along the entire western coast and that’s in Limerick. The Mayo Parents’ Support Group [for children with diabetes] are alarmed that the endocrinologist that is due to come to Mayo will end up working only with adults.
An adult endocrinologist will help but it is not the answer either.”