Social security institution spends $700 mln on diabetic patients
Turkey’s social security institution (SGK) last year spent a total of 6.9 billion Turkish Liras (around $700 million) to meet the needs of people with diabetes, such as drugs, treatment, blood glucose test strips and diagnosis.
There were some 650,000 people with Type 1 and more than 8 million people with Type 2 diabetes in the country last year, according to the SGK’s records. Some 80,000 of those diabetic patients are younger than the age of 18.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, there were only 1.8 million people with diabetes in Turkey and the figure climbed to 3.5 million in 2011.
It also calculated that as of 2021, there were also some 3.8 million people with undiagnosed diabetes.
The federation projects that the number of people with diabetes in Turkey will increase to 10.8 million in 2030 and further up to 13.4 million in 2045.
The SGK also provides educational programs to increase awareness among the public about diabetes.
The institution covered the expenses for the flu and pneumococcal vaccines of more than 550,000 diabetic patients.
Turkey also offers early retirement for some diabetic patients if diabetes has damaged at least three of their organs and they have lost 60 percent of their capacity to work.
“A significant increase in the number of people with Type 2 diabetes is expected during COVID-19,” said Ali Saklamaz from the endocrinology department at the İEÜ Medical Park Hospital.
Diabetes has already been on the rise in line with changing life styles and eating habits which result in a rise in obesity among people, Saklamaz said, adding that the number of people with diabetes is likely to increase during the pandemic since people mostly stay home and remain inactive.