World Diabetes Day: A new team approach to care

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Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic disease in Australia – and the condition comes with a complex array of variables that patients must manage to stay healthy.

To help people understand their treatment needs and get access to proper care, Ramsay Health Plus in Perth launched a new program ahead of World Diabetes Day on Sunday 14 November 2021.

Diabetes Care Plus involves a team approach to exercise and education for patient care, with a dietician, exercise physiologist, and diabetic educators providing group services.

Ramsay Health Plus specialist coordinator Ciara Sheils said the program was suitable for those diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM).

It is an incurable condition, but weight loss, diet and exercise can help to offset the body's impaired ability to produce insulin and regulate blood sugar levels.

“The aim of the Diabetes Care Plus program is to help participants facilitate self-management of their diabetes,” Ms Shiels said.

“The goal of our specialists is to help participants with nutrition, physical activity, medication management and blood glucose monitoring, as well as providing education on behaviour and lifestyle changes.”

In this country, about 280 people develop diabetes every day – with more than 120,000 new cases in the past year, according to Diabetes Australia.

On top of the 1.3 million registered as living with the condition, there is an estimated 500,000 undiagnosed 'silent' Type 2 sufferers.

If left untreated, diabetes can lead to blindness, heart and kidney disease, and limb amputations. 

Access to proper care is the theme of World Diabetes Day 2021-23.

“It is vital to help manage the alarming number of people living with the condition,” said Kylie Sach, a diabetes specialist nurse on the new program, which is based at Ramsay Health Care Australia's Nedlands campus alongside Hollywood Private Hospital.

The prevalence of diabetes is increasing at a faster rate than heart disease and cancer, Ms Sach added.

“To reverse this trend, we need increased public awareness about prevention and the symptoms of diabetes, as well as ongoing support for people living with the condition,” she said.

Patients can access the new diabetes service with a referral from their general practitioner, and it is covered by Medicare.

Australia's largest private hospitals operator created its Ramsay Health Plus centres to provide a range of allied health services in one location, offering tailored treatment plans throughout patients' medical journeys.

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