Government ‘ignored’ advice on insulin needles

MEP accuses government of being hard-headed

The government is not listening to professionals and parents, says MEP Francis Zammit Dimech. Photo: Shutterstock

The government is not listening to professionals and parents, says MEP Francis Zammit Dimech. Photo: Shutterstock

The government ignored medical practitioners’ advice on shorter free insulin needles for children, Nationalist MEP Francis Zammit Dimech said.

Reacting to news that requests by diabetes patients were dismissed on grounds of effectiveness, he said official requests by professionals for 4mm pen needles had been rejected.

Dr Zammit Dimech had called for the provision of 4mm pen needles rather than the 6mm ones provided for free for glucose injections in a bid to minimise pain and trauma for children. In a letter to Health Minister Chris Fearne, he said it was “generally painful” for children to be injected several times a day with the longer needle.

But a Health Ministry spokesman said using the shorter needles could lead to incorrect dispensing if they were given to adolescents and adults instead of children. This was because the length might not be sufficient to reach the correct depth for best use of insulin.

High time for ministry to engage in active dialogue

Dr Zammit Dimech said the government was being hard-headed and sticking to its position because it was not listening to professionals and parents.

Parents were flabbergasted by the incorrect dispensing comment. Is the government saying those who dispensed needles were incompetent, he asked, noting in this case he was speaking of needles for children not adolescents.

Earlier this year, Dr Zammit Dimech also called for glucose monitors that remove the need to draw blood several times.

He said these should be made available without further delay.

The Health Department said it was undertaking market research on glucose monitors to establish the parameters through which such a system could be introduced.

The MEP insisted it was “high time” for the Health Ministry to engage in active and genuine dialogue with the parents of children suffering from Type 1 Diabetes.

“The time of market research should well be over and done with since the introduction of continuous glucose monitors is an urgent need that must be seen to immediately,” Dr Zammit Dimech remarked.

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