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Barely prepared for the wave of diabetes


According to doctors and healthcare professionals, Germany is under-prepared for the increasing number of people with diabetes. "With the rise in diabetes, the need for specialist care is increasing. At present, however, there is a markedly opposite trend," says Monika Kellerer, president of the German Diabetes Association (DDG).

Currently, more than seven million people in Germany suffer from diabetes – most suffer from type 2 diabetes. According to the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, the number of patients could increase by 2040 by as much as 12.3 million. The fact that "widespread disease" of diabetes is available to a sufficient number of qualified doctors and diabetes counselors, such as the capacity to treat patients.

DDG President Kellerer refers to hospital beds that focus on endocrinology and diabetes. Data from the Federal Bureau of Statistics make it easy to see that the number of appropriate hospital beds has nearly halved in the last two decades, unlike almost all other medical specialties, according to the Medical Director of the Center for Internal Medicine I of Marienhospital Stuttgart.

Bed capacity has increased enormously lately

In gastroenterology, cardiology and oncology, on the other hand, bed capacity has increased two to three times. "It shows an imbalance in care." For diabetic patients, this was not good news. For example, if there are not enough beds in hospital wards to focus on endocrinology and diabetology, diabetics would end up in other wards and could be sent home again due to lack of specialist treatment.

In addition, Kellerer adds, the "small clinical presence" of diabetes has a significant negative impact on medical education. "Universities are the guarantors of clinical and scientific offspring tomorrow." But he'll stay out if there aren't enough chairs. In Germany, there are currently only eight clinical chairs for diabetes in 36 medical colleges, the DDG president reports. Also, the newly established medical colleges do not provide adequate departments. "It's disastrous for proper patient care."

If hospitals' policy and management did not oppose the "marginalization" of clinical diabetes at universities, medical students would no longer be able to meet the endocrinology / diabetology topic and, as a consequence, would not be able to develop clinical and scientific competence in the subject, he warned. Kellerer.

DDG therefore requires that a clinical chair for endocrinology and diabetes be established at each medical college. Ministers of education of the countries could influence universities in this regard, said DDG President Kellerer. With the help of targeted transportation systems, something could be moved here.