October 2011 is Foot Health Month. The theme this year is ‘’Diabetes: Counting the Costs’’ and is centered around educating the public on the importance of podiatry and its role in preventing foot health complications in patients with diabetes.
The Australian Podiatry Association has launched a political campaign which focuses on the need for additional (minimum of 12) Medicare funded visits to podiatrists for people with chronic disease-related foot complications such as diabetes. Currently the maximum number of visits is 5 per calendar year and this is shared amongst other allied health services.
Diabetes: Counting the Costs
In 2011, close to 4300 Australians with Diabetes will suffer from a lower limb amputation contributing to the over $612 million in Australian healthcare costs due to diabetes foot complications. With properly funded podiatry care 3000 amputations could be avoided and over $300 million saved. (Source: Australian Podiatry Association)
The association has put together a number of television and radio announcements to highlight the importance of podiatry in preventing foot complications in patients with diabetes to create awareness about the disease.
It is estimated that currently 1.8 million Australians are living with diabetes (Source: Diabetes Australia). The president of the association Andrew Schox reported that ‘’85 Australians lose a lower limb to diabetes related health issues every week. Some people even lose their lives. We know that regular visits to a podiatrist are the best way to keep these problems under control’ Mr Schox said. So if you or anyone you know has diabetes encourage them to visit a podiatrist.
For more information on foot health month visit www.apodc.com.au.