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Diabetes: A National Public Health Priority 2015-2020


From:             Ministry for Energy and Health - Health
Published on: 14 November 2014

1. Background

This draft strategy was developed by a Steering Group which included representatives of the major stakeholders involved in diabetes and its management. Its work was guided by the input of over 50 experts who shared their views and put forward their proposal during a series of focus groups held over past months.
Government is presenting this proposal for wide consultation prior to finalising the first ever national strategy for diabetes in line with its electoral programme proposal to bring about improvement in the quality of life for persons with diabetes and their families.
Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin, or when the body cells cannot make proper use of the insulin produced, due to reduced sensitivity. Diabetes is an important cause for morbidity in Malta with around 10 per cent of the population above 18 years estimated to be living with this condition. The incidence in Malta is expected to continue rising in all age groups, making diabetes a growing health problem. Diabetes has a significant impact on the quality of life of persons with diabetes and their families, especially when complications arise. The high burden of diabetes among the Maltese population calls for a national diabetes strategy. The overall aim of this strategy is to emphasise prevention and early diagnosis of diabetes, expand treatment options and further develop the integrated care and management of diabetes so as to prevent or postpone complications. Support for persons with diabetes and their families at all stages is considered an important aspect of the service framework being proposed.
The above aim will be achieved through a combination of initiatives:
    • Attainment of a higher level of public awareness about diabetes and measures to avoid Type 2 diabetes by educating the public about diabetes, its risk and seriousness and promoting a healthy lifestyle
  • Roll out of an opportunistic screening program at national level through the testing of fasting blood glucose at least every two years for individuals over 45 years and other groups at increased risk of developing diabetes thus enabling earlier diagnosis
  • Support for persons a higher risk of developing diabetes and newly diagnosed diabetics to carry out lifestyle modification through intensive lifestyle management programmes
  • Investment in the training and development of additional human resources to enable strengthening of the multi-disciplinary team approach particularly in those professions where critical shortages are known to exist
  • Empowering and equipping health care professionals to deliver care in line with a national service framework
  • Investment in innovative treatment, equipment and information systems to ensure that patients receive optimal care
  • Inclusion of the private sector which plays an important role in the care of persons with diabetes
  • Emphasis on preventing complications through risk factor modification and control
  • Setting up of systematic screening and follow up for the early detection of complications from diabetes at a stage where they are amendable to effective intervention  
  • Placing the patients in the centre of their care through patient empowerment, education, health literacy, accessibility of medicines and supplies
  • Strengthening psychosocial support for persons with diabetes and their families
  • Setting up of a national register for all persons with diabetes in Malta and Gozo
  • Supporting primary research at population level

2. Related Documents

 Diabetes  A Public Health Priority final document.pdfDiabetes A Public Health Priority.pdf

3. Submission of Input

Submissions were received through the following channels:

By Post to :

Consultation on Diabetes Strategy,
Directorate for Health Information and Research ,
95 G’Mangia Hill Pieta’
or through,

Online form

All input towards this consultation were received by 31 May 2015.
We thank you in advance for your input.


Please be informed that submissions will be published on the webpage of this consultation at the end of the scoping phase. The lead Ministry has sole discretion upon the publication of comments.
Received contributions, together with the identity of the contributor, will be published on the Internet, unless the contributor objects to the publication of his/her personal data on the grounds that such publication would harm his/her legitimate interests. In this case the contribution may be published in anonymous form. Otherwise the contribution will not be published nor will, in principle, its content be taken into account.  Any objections concerning the publication of personal data should be sent to the service responsible for the consultation on the following email address:
Data Protection Statement Data Protection Act (Chapter 440)
The Data Protection Act, 2001 regulates the processing of personal data whether held electronically or in manual form. The Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties collects only information which is necessary for it to perform its intended functions and is set to fully comply with the Data Protection Principles as set out in the Act.  Verification of the ID number provided will take place as deemed necessary. All personal data provided will be processed according to the Data Protection Act (Cap 440).
In addition, please be aware of:
·         Disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (Chapter 496)
As we are a public authority all documents we hold, including documents related to this public consultation process, may be released following a request to us under the Freedom of Information Act (Chap. 496), unless such request may be subject of an exemption arising from the same Act.

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