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National Diabetic Retinal Screening Programme is globally unique putting the focus on new eye screening for people with diabetes (Press Release)

Today Diabetic RetinaScreen – The HSE National Diabetic Retinal Screening Programme released its inaugural programme report providing screening statistics for the first two screening rounds of the programme’s operation (2013– 2015). The programme is Government-funded and offers free, annual screening and treatment of diabetic retinopathy, a common complication of the eye which affects many people across the country living with diabetes. The release of the report fittingly coincides with World Diabetes Week.

Launching the report, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, said 'This free screening and treatment programme is globally unique and I very much welcome the significant progress being made. For the 200,000 people in Ireland living with Diabetes, this programme can prevent sight loss by early detection and treatment if required. When fully implemented, it will halve the rates of blindness and vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy. I encourage all individuals with Diabetes to avail of this service.’


Mr. Charles O’ Hanlon Head of the National Screening Service said ‘that the objective of the Diabetic RetinaScreen programme is to reduce the risk of sight loss from diabetic retinopathy. What makes the HSE National Diabetic Retinal Screening Programme in Ireland unique is having an integrated treatment component and electronic medical records system which allows visibility of the patients through the entirety of their care pathway.’

Mr. David Keegan, Clinical Director of the Programme said that ‘Diabetic RetinaScreen has already started to deliver positive results for diabetic patients in Ireland. We are detecting pre-symptomatic disease and providing sight saving treatments in at risk patients. Uptake rates are steadily rising and we are confident that the true impact of our programme, reduction in blindness and vision impairment due to diabetic retinopathy, will be achieved.’

He added that ‘Diabetic RetinaScreen is steadily becoming a world class model which many other nations aspire towards.  The electronic health record is a major component which enables the programme to see patients’ screening and treatment activity. This supports clear and transparent reporting on all patients’ pathways.

Ms. Colette Murphy, Programme Manager said that ‘Many international peers at the recent World Sight Day Diabetic Eye Conference in Belfast commended Diabetic RetinaScreen for its foresight to include screening and treatment activity as part of the programme. Close links with international diabetic retinal screening programmes gives us access to new innovations and technological changes, placing us in a fully researched position to adapt to our needs.’

Information is available at www.diabeticretinascreen.ie. Alternatively, you can contact the Programme by calling Freephone 1800 45 45 55 available 9.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday. If you are on the register, you will be invited by letter to attend a free screening at a local screening centre.  

 

The Diabetic RetinaScreen Programme Report 2013-2015 can be viewed here.

 

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