GEHWOL Diabetes Report
On behalf of GEHWOL, the two market research companies IDS Germany and INSIGHT HEALTH surveyed doctors and diabetics every two years about risk awareness, performing important foot care measures, and recommended early detection and diagnosis measures as part of interdisciplinary diabetic care. A total of 123 doctors treating 3,119 diabetics were surveyed for the 2019 report. 33 percent of diabetics do not know that they need to do something for their feet. Four years ago the figure was 63 percent, two years ago it was 44 percent. Risk awareness has thus improved. This is good news. But the number of diabetics who are not or only insufficiently informed is still far too high. There is actually a clear plan. Once diabetes is diagnosed in a patient, he should receive training and learn to check his feet and keep them injury-free with care. In Germany this concerns six to eight million diabetics.
Expand diabetic training and podology care
The National Care Guideline for Diabetic Feet specifies training. But the reality looks different. Not even half of all diabetics have received such training - a structural problem. For only about 25 percent of podologists participate in care within the statutory health insurance system. This amounts to about 5,000 specialists. It doesn't take much to know that this is not sufficient in view of the rising diabetes case counts in Germany. Not even every second diabetic person receives podology care at this time. Therefore, the profession would urgently require an upgrade. Also, more patients would need to receive training by a diabetes consultant. Podologists are often the first point of contact and must be sufficiently qualified in order to instruct patients in independent foot care.