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GPs call for more action to prevent diabetes ~ AMA Family Doctor Week

Friday 19 July

This year, Family Doctor Week coincides with National Diabetes Week. This is an appropriate cross-over, as GPs are at the centre of the primary healthcare system and many of their patients are diabetics.

Often referred to as the “silent pandemic”, diabetes is a chronic disease with serious complications which currently affects an estimated 1.7 million Australians.

There are several types of diabetes, including: Type 1, Type 2, pre-diabetes and Gestational. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, affecting 85 to 90 per cent of all diabetics.

“Unlike many of the diseases that doctors treat - Type 2 diabetes can often be prevented as it is known to be triggered by being inactive or overweight. AMA Victoria encourages all individuals to make conscious decisions about their diets and to exercise regularly” AMA Victoria President Dr Stephen Parnis said today.

GPs continue to provide complex medical care to diabetics, as the management of this disease requires both the systematic care from the practice team and the timely referral of patients to community and hospital based specialists.

The AMA encourages all levels of government to do more to prevent diabetes and to improve the healthcare of patients with chronic and complex conditions, including greater access and more time spent with their GP. The prevalence of this disease needs to be at forefront of health policy and budget funding.

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