Thank you Insulin and Medical Professionals!

Thank you Insulin and Medical Professionals!

November 14th was the World Health Organization’s World Diabetes Day and also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin.

This year, the WHO is concentrating on access to services and products required to treat and maintain good health when suffering from diabetes, especially for those living in rural areas.

Part of the problem with treating diabetes in rural areas is that it is simply more prevalent. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 4.3% of people living in urban areas suffer from a form of diabetes whereas in remote areas, the number rises to 5.3%. After controlling for population differences, First Australians are almost three times more likely to have diabetes. The number of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders is probably understated as prior to 2005 they were not counted separately as a group.

However, the bigger part of the problem concerning diabetes in remote parts of the country is simply that the Australian rural environment has a whole set of risks that come together to make diabetes harder to live with.

A lot of those are well known problems of rural living. As the AIHW puts it,

There is a shortage of dietitians, optometrists, podiatrists, GPs and diabetes specialists. They also have less access to community infrastructure and to environmental health and safety measures, affordable fresh foods, workplaces large enough to accommodate proactive health measures, a range of sporting clubs, and health promoting elements of the built environment such as walking and cycling paths.

The NSW Rural Doctors Network has put in place a new community initiative to help support medical professionals working in isolated parts of the country. This is #RuralPositive which, in partnership with TAP, has been set up to support and show gratitude to all our rural GPs, nurses, allied health practitioners, nurses, midwives, Aboriginal health practitioners, practice managers, carers, pharmacists, paramedics, receptionists and administrators - everyone who is part of the rural workforce.

Thank a Health Professional - go to the #RuralPositive Thanking Wall.