x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

New facility will boost Dubai's diabetes care

The centre will be twice the size of the one it replaces, which can no longer cope with the rising number of diabetics in the emirate.

Dr M Hamed Farooqi, the director of the centre, said the long waiting times were an inevitable consequence of the increasing demand. Antonie Robertson / The National
Dr M Hamed Farooqi, the director of the centre, said the long waiting times were an inevitable consequence of the increasing demand. Antonie Robertson / The National

DUBAI // The length of time a diabetic has to wait for a doctor's appointment at the Dubai Diabetes Centre is expected to be reduced from an estimated six months to just six weeks when anew centre opens next year.

The centre will be twice the size of the one it replaces, which can no longer cope with the rising number of diabetics in the emirate.

"Right now, our appointment visits are booked up until May," said Dr Inaam Ibrahim Kandil, the head of diabetes education coordination at the centre, who was speaking at the World Diabetes Congress in Dubai. "People are having to wait too long to come and see us.

"By opening our new centre, having more practitioners and more endocrinologists, it will help us see more patients, and sooner."

She said the new centre should result in patients having to wait no longer than six weeks for an initial consultation.

Dr M Hamed Farooqi, the director of the centre, said the long waiting times were an inevitable consequence of the increasing demand.

According to the World Health Organisation, the UAE has the second highest rate of diabetes in the world. New data from the International Diabetes Foundation also shows that one in five people living in the country has the chronic disease. Prediabetes, the precursor to Type 2 diabetes, is also prevalent.

As well as better services across the board, the new centre on 2nd of December Street will also contain a specialised paediatric endocrinology unit. The current centre does not admit children.

More staff will be hired, in addition to the current 44, which includes four consultants. And there will be more office space, bigger waiting rooms, and a prayer room.

It will also have an in-house pharmacy and a facility for taking blood samples. At present, both these services are only available off-site.

"There are two other things that we want to double," said Dr Farooqi.

"Our ability to screen the eyes - the retinal imaging - and our podiatry facility. These two facilities are doing a very important job in terms of screening for any early damage because of diabetes, and preventive complications."

zalhassani@thenational.ae