Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Diabetic foot disease toll calculator: The real toll of neglect
The Australasian Podiatry Council (APodC) has created the diabetic foot disease toll calculator, which shows the effect of diabetes on foot health in terms of hospital bed days, lower extremity amputations, deaths and costs in real time. The left hand side of the calculator highlights the consequences if the current system of diabetic foot health management in Australia is maintained. The right hand side shows how the effects can be reduced with optimal foot health care. According to Andrew Schox, President of the APodC, research show supports spending more money on podiatry and foot care would save the Australian taxpayer over $300 million each year. For example, a dozen Medicare-funded podiatry appointments for patients with diabetes costs a few hundred dollars, while lower limb amputations can cost the health system anywhere up to $100,000 per patient. At the moment patients with diabetes are only entitled to a maximum of 5 Medicare funded appointments with a podiatrist every year.