Zammit Dimech once again appeals for free needles for diabetics
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MEP Francis Zammit Dimech, ha said that, “the Government should provide free needles to type II diabetics. Furthermore the government should take this sector more seriously.”
He made these remarks in front of the Ministry for Health during a Facebook Live event to raise various matters constantly being outlined to him by diabetics and their relatives.
The MEP said that diabetics need to prick their fingers in order to obtain blood to test the glucose level in their blood stream. “Although the meter and glucose strips are already provided, the needles, which are just as essential to the process, are not.”
They need to be replaced every time after being used due to health and hygiene purposes. Zammit Dimech went on to say that needles become blunt after being used just once, causing discomfort and pain to patients who use them on a daily basis.
Since patients have to use such needles several times a day, they are forced to buy boxes of needles with the cheapest costing over €6, the MEP said.
While he already welcomed the fact that the government provided glucose meters and sticks for free including from a number of localities, the MEP said that this was not enough, as diabetics needed needles too.
He explained how during a visit to a diabetic patient at home the situation had been compared to one giving you a car without a key.
The MEP also said that for greater comfort, the needles should be provided with a lancet device, which is used to put in the needles to prick oneself for greater comfort.
Zammit Dimech remarked that he has already written two letters to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health on such matters but there has been to date no concrete action or results. “On the other hand the government was coming up with mere excuses,” he said.
Zammit Dimech also encouraged people to test their blood glucose levels. “I have learnt that there are cases where people have diabetes but they are not aware of it.”
In the coming months Zammit Dimech said that he is also organising a diabetes week at the European Parliament to raise more awareness on existing challenges at EU level.
Zammit Dimech is the co-chair of the EU diabetes working group.