The first Diabetes Shop and Diabetes in Greece today
In the field of diabetes, and in particular insulin-dependent diabetes (type 1), I find myself still one of the “new” participants.
I have made many attempts to understand and relate to people with AD1 (type 1 diabetes) since 2013, when my little daughter was diagnosed.
I think in the history of diabetes in Greece that while I am a new member, I have seen, learned, heard and experienced enough to have at least a personal perspective and view.
I have “built up” and publiced this personal viewpoint through this means of communication (through mamameli), which started about two years ago. Those who have helped and continue to help – have started and continue – absolutely voluntarily and unselfishly.
Given all of these, you will once again allow me to express my views on what I now believe about diabetes in our country and especially on ID1.
My personal opinion about the insulin pump is already known. I do not consider panacea the insulin pumps. However, they are proven to be the best tool for the patient with AD1 in today’s hands to achieve better glucose values to avoid – and to completely eliminate – hypoglycemia, to alleviate hyperglycemia and to have a better and unrestricted way of life in his everyday life.
I remind you of my article: What is the insulin pump for me, which I wrote at the time when rumors reported the possible “withdrawal” of pump companies from Greece and the reduction of money from the IOCPY budget for insulin pump consumables (2017) .
While – unfortunately – none of the two have ever happened (not even the withdrawal of pump companies, nor the reduction in the EAFRD budget for pump consumables), unfortunately the situation in general about insulin pumps has been “frozen” on either side .
And what do i mean by that?
The EAFRD budget continues remaining the same for at least the last two years as regards the compensation and pump consumables. This is not a progression to the worst, but it does not include – unfortunately – new and growing new cases of type 1 diabetes in our country.
All studies and data show, both internationally and in our country, an all-embarrassing increase in new cases of type 1 diabetes. This means that EAFRD budgets are outdated each year. They are mistaken, as they do not estimate / budget the – unfortunately – increased demand for these products simply because of the real increase in incidents.
Here I will mention another fatality – the first – of our country, where the rate of use of insulin pumps is the smallest in Europe.
In our country it is estimated that adults with diabetes amount to about 578,000 (according to IDF – International Diabetes Federation-Total adult population: 8,051,270, Prevalence of diabetes in adults: 7.2%).
The population of people with AD1 appears to be “sideways” (and always approximate) as a percentage of 0.24% (as estimated by the American Diabetes Association in the United States) of the total population in our country, or about 24,500 cases.
See also “PREVALENCE AND GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF TYPE 1 DIABETES MELLITUS IN CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS IN GREECE”
Maria Mylona¹, Konstantinos Makrilakis¹, G. Dafoulas¹, Ch. Kani²,
P. Sfikakis¹, Stavros Liatis¹, where the incidence of AD1 is even broken down by country.
Only 10% of all type 1 insulin dependent diabetics use an insulin pump (any company).
So, let’s combine on the one hand this low rate of insulin pump use and the fixed & “frozen” – unfortunately – compensation, which is estimated every year by the EHIC and you will see that we are facing a terrible impasse, a tough reality.
And let’s not add to the equation, the few centers of diabetes education in our country, the very few doctors and nursing staff who are trying to keep a basic level of education to their patients (and I am talking mainly about the public sector).
Do not add to this equation the deep economic crisis that our country has over the last few years.
Do not add the uninsured patients who – unfortunately – do not even have the right to a “dream” of a pump and unfortunately they grow every year as new incidents.
Do not add to this equation the distances that need to be spent and the financial cost to a family with a child with AD1 to reach a decent diabetes center, especially from the island to the center and from the remote areas of the country to the largest cities.
Do not add “toys” to the detriment of all patients who are trying to play groups of doctors about the “specialty” of diabetes and its practice by those who feel that they can “bring” eclecticity to the gift of specialization on diabetes. This, gentlemen and ladies, for me is the toughest “game” of all. Specialization in diabetes around the world can be practiced by any specialist doctor or if you want to study on diabetes, even vets get the specialty of diabetes. And all this “game” in our country should not even reach the ears of the patients. Let the medical communities finally solve it and finish it once and for all.
Patients are not and should not be the “ball” of any system or specialty.
Let’s not add the minimum participation to clubs and clubs, to federations working in our country with diabetes. All of us, each one separately, also have a share of responsibility, since few are ultimately those who participate and “come out” ahead of defending the rights and interests of the others. If we all talk to each other, if we all participate, then our power will become so great that one can not deny us the self-evident, essential.
Let’s not add – of course – the taboos that are so deeply rooted in Greek society and follow the social stigma of people with diabetes (but also of any other chronic disease). The person who is ill in the Greek society automatically gets a sign – diabetic, cancerous, autistic, with heart, etc. – that follows them throughout their lives. That’s how we treat each other. Because we like to refer to every patient. Because we do not see beyond the disease.
Why We Lose People from this Disease ………… ..
Parents of children with diabetes who feel social stigma do not talk at school, do not talk to teachers, do not speak in the neighborhood, do not talk to the family …… As if you do not talk diabetes will disappear … As if you do not inform help …Like if you don’t talk about it, it will leave ….
Many difficulties, many problems and even more, many things that are happening by factors and people who see us all as numbers, as settlement numbers, as budget costs, as revenues and expenses.
Past practices that have been tested, and therefore perhaps consolidated, are considered to be the only safe pathways for each disease. And it is certainly the most convenient for everyone. Do not deal with patients. Do not let them know about anything new.
Concepts such as new technologies, research, pioneering methods with great difficulty exist in today’s Greek reality.
Scientists younger and older, trying to provide solutions, are left aside from the “system” and even worse are pushed to flee abroad, with what this entails.
And at the center of all these lies the patient who tries to find solutions, to balance in his everyday life, to survive ……
I do not want to talk about numbers in diabetes. Firstly, because I have no documented evidence, and secondly because the financial details of each patient should not concern me.
This, of course, is not in our own country and not in today’s reality.
Everything in our lives in recent years is associated with costs, with numbers, with compensation, with rates of profit, with clawbacks, with budgets ……
And here I will refer to something innovative, in the effort of a group of Greeks, to a thought that has become reality, to a dream that was realized by Greeks for Greeks but also to the whole world reality.
When we talk about Medtronic Hellas, then we should have in mind an international gossip related to medical developments and medical care for patients around the world. As stated on her mission page, “To contribute to the well-being of people by applying biomedical technology to research, design, manufacture and sell instruments or devices that eliminate pain, restore health and prolong life.”
In our country it has been active for 20 years.
For most patients with type 1 diabetes in Greece, Medtronic’s name is directly linked to the insulin pump, the CGMS (Enlite) continuous glucose recording system and the Carelink Personal data transmission system.
The company’s diabetes site is https://www.medtronic-diabetes.gr/.
This company came into my life from the beginning of my contact with diabetes. Along the way, I met the other companies but I did not get to work with them.
Diabetes Shop is a global innovation, a new concept of the Greek Medtronic Hellas team that was embraced by the leadership of the company in a very short time and implemented in our country.
For me, the first time I visited it, was the day of the press conference of the company to health journalists, where I was invited as a mother of children with AD1. See the report at nextedeal.gr
I start from Diabetes Shop’s location in Athens Tower, which is placed in a building at the heart of diabetes. Next to the two largest Children’s hospitals and next to 70% of Athens hospitals. A place accessible to everyone in the center of Athens.
For me, Diabetes Shop’s setup is dreamlike.
It gives diabetes the necessary dimension.
Surfaces clean, smooth lines, transparent glass windows where the most welcoming space and the most hospitable and smiling people are kept. Qualified staff in dealing with insulin pumps, managing them, managing the data of continuous recording, help and support as it should be.
The center has been created and supports primarily insulin pumps.
A place that has already hosted groups of people with diabetes who want to be trained, to be at the same place with people with diabetes or just to be informed about new technologies in the company. A place where we have already been and will continue to be workshops of different kinds in relation to the lives of people with diabetes.
Experienced people provide support, education, help, smiles and hugs to anyone who wants to join these groups.
And all this FREE. No financial participation and no financial burden on anyone who wants to participate.
The message of the whole project is EDUCATION, INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION.
So simple and so difficult at the same time.
So we should be trained for diabetes. So we should learn and keep on getting informed on all issues of diabetes. Transparently, with open doors, hospitable spaces, specialists, smiles and lots of love. To “break” the taboos of this disease, to give everyone knowledge, love and smiles around us. In order to exchange our concerns and calm our anxieties and anxiety. To know we have somewhere to rely on.
An effort by a company that chose to start from our country, which chose to bring our country to the global health field.
A pioneering effort that has been implemented and places Greece and the Greek team at the center of global developments in how to educate and inform patients with diabetes.
For my part, I can not say to you how grateful I feel for all this effort of a company to place the patient at the center of interest. I can not quite thank this company, which for me is part of my everyday life and my family.
Let us stop being suspicious of such a great and generous effort of those people and that of the company that is investing in our country today and who certainly proves its daily efforts to support people with AD1 and not only.
We owe you, ladies and gentlemen of Medtronic Hellas, a great thank you for what you have done and will continue to do for us and our families.
I sincerely hope that this effort will bear fruit and be an example of imitation from all the other countries of the world.
And to all of our patients and their families, who struggle daily with glucose management, diabetes management, let us welcome such private sector efforts and let us pray that they will be imitated by other companies as well as by public bodies.
We are all together on this journey and we ought to be all together in the proper dealing with the disease.
Το βίντεο της εκδήλωσης από το www.nextdeal.gr