UK Charity Claims Diabetes Might Bankrupt National Health Service

Man using lancet on finger

Diabetes UK has released a study suggesting that diabetes could bankrupt the NHS.
Image: Shutterstock

According to Diabetes UK, a charity focused on researching the disease and helping people who suffer from it, that disease threatens to bankrupt the National Health Service (NHS). In the past 10 years, there has been a 60% increase in diabetes cases in the UK, rising 59.8% in England and Wales just since 2005. According to Diabetes UK, there are currently 3,333,069 people diagnosed with diabetes in the United Kingdom.

The charity argues that more must be done to highlight the dangers of diabetes and the importance of preventative care, as well as improving the effectiveness of treating the disease. The problem lies mainly in the fact that, of the £10 billion spent each year on treating diabetes, about 80% of that money is spent on dealing with complications that could have been avoided in the first place.

Without proper care, patients with diabetes can suffer from a number of complications, including amputations, heart attack, and stroke. The NHS has outlined eight care practices that patients with diabetes should follow in order to keep the disease under control. Unfortunately, about one-third of all patients don’t receive that needed care, and they develop more difficult and expensive-to-treat complications.

So the development of better programs to educate people about preventative care and ensure that more people get that care will certainly help. It won’t reduce the number of patients who have developed complications already, but it can help others from developing them, which means less expenditure on the part of the NHS. Unfortunately, the number of patients diagnosed with diabetes continues to rise, and according to Diabetes UK, if this trend continues, roughly 5 million people in the United Kingdom will be diagnosed with the disease by 2025. If the NHS is struggling to cover the costs of that care now, then almost doubling the number of patients they have over the next 10 years certainly won’t make it any easier.

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