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GCC govts called to address diabetes impact

Dubai, February 13, 2014

A cure for diabetes is not on the horizon until 2030 and despite this GCC governments can address the impact of the condition through several initiatives, said a recent research.

The research conducted by Boston Consulting Group to assess the impact of diabetes globally found that governments can play a critical role in driving better outcomes for patients and removing costs from the healthcare system in the GCC.

Kapil Bhatia, principal, BCG, said: “There is an increase in lifestyle related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity in the GCC countries.”

“In particular, diabetes is a huge burden on healthcare systems in the GCC, with an annual average cost of approximately $5,000 for patients with no complications and three times that amount for diabetes patients who encounter complications.”

The year-long study identified four specific levers that government can utilise to improve the situation.

•   The ‘consumerisation’ of basic diabetes care where governments can intervene to support the private sector to diagnose and treat basic forms of diabetes. Working with private and quasi-government entities can enhance access to consumer data and early diagnosis and treatment for patients, said the report.

•   The governments should push targeted treatments through an integrated care model. The concept centres around the fact that one entity is fully responsible for the care of the diabetic patient, from coordinating treatment to seeing specialists to following up on compliance and the way care is delivered.  For GCC governments, this is a particularly critical lever to push as government entities often control more than 50 per cent of the provision, it said.

•   A quantum leap in population level programmes targeting those endangered by diabetes from a young age, will create a platform to promote preventive measures.

•   A revamp of payment models to focus on outcomes of diabetes treatment will a change in behaviour of players. Current payment models are designed to support episodic care. It is critical that providers deliver integrated care as opposed to episodic care, while it is important that patients improve compliance with care and make the lifestyle changes required, it added.

“With diabetes prevalence continuing to rise in the GCC and no cure in the horizon, now is the time to act.  While these four levers do not provide the silver bullet for diabetes, GCC governments have an opportunity to take action on these levers that provide a streamlined approach to stymie the impact of diabetes,” said Bhatia.

“These four levers together will have an impact in terms of reducing prevalence, improving lives of diabetes patients in the region as well as limiting burden on the healthcare system,” he added. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: GCC | Diabetes | initiative |

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