Several of my clients are facing diabetes. As far as I know, they haven't even been referred for chiroprodist care. We have a nurse at Community Home Support Lanark County, who does footcare on a weekly basis. For many, however, transportation to these clinics are as complicated as paying for the care. What many do not know: CHSLC does pay for the service, if a client cannot afford the $35 cost.
Lanark County is typical of rural Ontario: we have are made up of two LHINs (Champlain and South East Ontario). Physicians regularly send patients into Ottawa from south Lanark County, when a trip to the city may take 4 hours round-trip.
Who is responsible for these tragic amputations?
Do you think it is the GPs? For many patients, they are ignorant about diet and nutrition. Some make bad choices and need help creating balanced meals, having low sugar intake, limiting caffeine, and increasing exercise, quitting smoking, and practicing sleep hygiene. For those who cannot afford healthcare, like chiropodists, they are not getting the education and treatment that they need.
Caffeine abuse and hypokalemia, is well-known:
What should GPs do?
Yes, we need diabetes screening, but more importantly, education programs, nutrition counselling and physiotherapy to keep circulation going.
Physicians must be regularly testing eyesight, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Many do not.
Many get test results back, but do not speak truthfully about the consequences of diet, smoking, and self-abuse to clients. At this point, it is up to the patients to take responsibility. Lanark COunty has a very high rate of smokers, but also unemployment and poverty. Many cannot afford the time for treatments, to pay for physiotherapy, or to go to appointments. Those employed are on hourly pay.
They need to speak to patients about preventing issues and managing their own care.
Patients go to doctors for cures, but they need to ask clients:
How are you responsible for your health conditions?
And explain: these are the things you can do to change your situation.
Amputations on the rise in Eastern Ontario
Eastern Ontario has a high rate of amputations
In an effort to improve diabetes care and cut the number of costly and avoidable hospital visits, regional health officials have hired two full-time chiropodists to provide free foot care to diabetics who are referred to the service by their doctors. The lack of public health insurance coverage for diabetes foot care, which can cost at least $45 a visit, is a key reason the service is out of reach for so many diabetics — especially if they are low income or live in rural communities, where diabetes is rampant.
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