Gestational Diabetes to be restored to the Long Term Illness Scheme in Ireland

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Minister Simon Harris & Minister Catherine Byrne,

Irish women who suffer from Gestational Diabetes are no longer covered for their medications and test equipment under the Long Term Illness Scheme. They were covered until the budget of 2013. For women diagnosed at any stage of pregnancy, such as the 28 week gtt offered to women at risk of diabetes or with a family history, dealing with Gestational Diabetes is a trying time for mothers, both personally but also financially.

For those diagnosed, at any stage, but particularly in the early weeks of pregnancy the financial cost is prohibitive, and could end up costing mothers just under €2000. For example, a woman diagnosed at 6 weeks will pay €1,152 (8 months under the drugs payment scheme of €144 per month) and may also have to test blood sugars 7 times daily if she is on insulin. Given that prescriptions may not provide for testing strips to cover 7 times daily she will likely have to fork out another c. €80 to cover test strips for half of the month (8 months of €80 costing €640). This could bring the total for a woman with 34 weeks of testing to €1,792. If this woman was a permanent sufferer of Diabetes these costs would be covered by the Long Term Illness Scheme.

Every woman wants to do the very best she can for her unborn child, and the Irish state needs to help her in her quest. By restoring Gestational Diabetes to the Long Term Illness scheme, the state would be ensuring that women are not prohibited by financial constraints in doing the best they can for their unborn children, but would also be ensuring that the health of the future generations of Irish people is given the best start it can possibly get.

Signed,

On behalf of all Irish women, and the unborn generations of Irish children,



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