On the eve of the Scottish Parliamentary elections, Diabetes UK Scotland is inviting politicians to set out their policies, plans and priorities for tackling diabetes at a question time event. The event will take place at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh, on Tuesday 15 March at 7pm.
MSPs Ross Finnie (Liberal Democrats), Nanette Milne (Scottish Conservatives), Patrick Harvie (Scottish Green Party), Richard Simpson (Scottish Labour Party) and Shona Robison (Scottish National Party) will set out their parties' strategies for tackling diabetes. The panel will also be joined by Baroness Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK. The comedian and BBC Radio Scotland presenter Fred MacAulay will keep the panel in order.
A major health issue
With the number of people diagnosed with diabetes doubling in the last decade, the condition is now a major health issue for Scottish politicians. Currently 240,000 people in Scotland have diabetes. Last year, 19,000 people were told they had diabetes, and if current trends continue we can expect to see another 100,000 people diagnosed with the condition during the five-year term of the next Parliament.
Although it currently affects approximately four per cent of the Scottish population, diabetes accounts for around ten per cent of NHS spending. This is because diabetes can lead to long-term complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness and lower limb amputation. Scotland also has one of the highest rates of childhood diabetes in the world, with 1,700 young people under the age of 17 with Type 1 diabetes.
Tickets for the Diabetes Question Time are free and can be ordered from Diabetes UK Scotland on 0141 245 6380, or by emailingScotland@diabetes.org.uk.
The event is sponsored by Novo Nordisk and Roche Diagnostics.