Need for a National Diabetes Register

Diabetes Ireland has launched its 2022 Pre-budget submission and is proposing 8 immediate actions for implementation which will improve the quality of life for over 225,000 people living with diabetes and reduce the long term costs of preventable diabetes complications. The submission is focused on a range of deliverable actions that are person-centred, cost effective and builds on existing HSE commitments to tackle chronic conditions including diabetes.


One of these Actions is the need for a National Diabetes Register

National Diabetes Register




National Diabetes Registry

Diabetes Ireland is calling for the creation and implementation of a National Diabetes Registry. Health services that aspire to deliver high-quality diabetes care need to know who lives with diabetes in their jurisdiction. Ireland does not have a National Diabetes Registry. Therefore, there is no accurate figure available for the number of people living with diabetes in Ireland. Initial steps towards this were previously funded, but funding was subsequently suspended with COVID-19. The HSE would need to estimate the costs of this (largely ICT) project.


The lack of a National Diabetes Registry represents a significant problem for our health service as we attempt to tackle diabetes, an increasingly common and costly chronic disease.  Establishment of a registry would help with tracking the prevalence of the condition, measuring outcomes and cost of care and planning for future services. A National Diabetes Registry also has the potential to provide an architecture and approach for the subsequent development of a national chronic disease registry.


In 2014, Ireland was ranked 20th of 30 European countries in a Euro Diabetes Index survey with the lack of a diabetes registry highlighted as a major deficiency. This deficiency came into sharper focus recently when the health service was unable to easily identify the diabetes population as part of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.


In contrast to the situation in Ireland, our nearest neighbour, Scotland, maintains a National Diabetes Registry and can easily identify the diabetes population and track the prevalence of diabetes year on year. The most recent data from Scotland (taken from the Scotland Diabetes Survey 2018) are highlighted in the Table below. The figures for Ireland are estimated based on the Scottish prevalence of diabetes (5.6% of the total census population) and based on the Scottish prevalence of type 2 diabetes (87.9% of the total diabetes population) and type 1 diabetes (10.8% of the total diabetes population). Other (rare) forms of diabetes have not been included in the Table 1:


With the HSE Cyber breach still preventing answers to Parliamentary Questions from public representatives and the Dail going into summer recess, we have postponed our “call to action” where we will be asking members of the diabetes community to contact their local representatives on the issue(s) most relevant to them until late August/early September as the Dail resumes.


However, Diabetes Ireland contacted all TDs and Senators on Wednesday 14 July on behalf of our community asking them to make representations on all these issues on our behalf. Some of our active volunteers groups also followed up locally with their own local representatives. In late August/early September, we will need your help to highlight these issues once again in advance of the upcoming budget.

Please note there are many other important issues we plan to highlight and advocate for implementation  and we will be working with all stakeholders to do this in a strategic way going forward.



To read the full Pre Budget Submission, click here.

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