Tens of millions spent on soaring diabetes bill

10 Sep 2017

Miles Briggs Choice

The NHS bill for treating patients with diabetes rose again last year by millions of pounds, as Scotland continues to struggle with an obesity crisis.

New figures have revealed £93.4 million was spent prescribing drugs to treat diabetes in 2016/17, an increase of £4.5 million on the previous year.

More than 3.6 million items were handed out as more patients are diagnosed with the condition, the ISD Scotland statistics show.

Shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said while obesity wasn’t always the reason for someone to be diagnosed with diabetes, it was none the less an indication of an increasing problem.

Earlier this week, it emerged that one of Scotland’s biggest health boards – NHS Lothian – was treating children as young as two for obesity-related conditions.

And recent official figures also suggested just 11 per cent of youngsters north of the border do the recommended levels of exercise and activity each week.

Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said:

“People can develop diabetes for a number of reasons, and it would be wrong to suggest obesity lies at the root of every case.

“Nonetheless, diabetes is a well-known consequence of obesity, and if more people are seeking treatment for it, it would suggest that problem is increasing.

“This is fast-becoming one of Scotland’s major public health crises.

“It affects people of all ages, and from all backgrounds, and we need to see more action from the Scottish Government in tackling this, while personal responsibility must also come into play.

“The increasing diabetes drugs bill and growing obesity levels again call in to question the SNP government’s decision, breaking its own manifesto pledges, to scrap health checks for all men and women when they reach the age of 40.

“This is something we would review as part of a focus on preventative health measures.”