»Task force to receive public comments until Nov. 3
The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. has thrown its support behind Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan’s call for broader screening for diabetes.
In an email to Saipan Tribune Monday, CHCC chief executive officer Esther L. Muna said they support Sablan’s and the U.S Preventive Services Task Force’s recommendation to expand the screening guidelines for diabetes.
Muña said that, as a policy, she hopes that more funding becomes available for health care outpatient access.
“Nevertheless, we still encourage everyone to seek preventive care. We need for everyone to see a doctor, even if they are not experiencing any pain or illness,” she said.
According to Muña, the hospital has seen patients who had no idea they have diabetes until the complications of the disease occur and, as diabetes complications become more serious, medical intervention becomes more complex.
“Whatever the outcome of the task force’s recommendation, CHCC will continue to encourage everyone to have an outpatient or primary care visit. The cost of healthcare can only go down when people are healthier because of preventive measures,” Muña said.
The task force is accepting comments to the draft recommendations online at the U.S Preventive Services Task Force website, www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org. Comments will be accepted until Nov. 3.
Early in October, Sablan joined 61 of his colleagues in the U.S. Congress to call for broader health screening guidelines that will help detect pre-diabetic conditions in people.
In a Sept. 30 letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sally Burwell, Sablan and other members of the House Diabetes Caucus said knowing that one is on the verge of having diabetes could help people make lifestyle changes that could possibly avert the disease. According to the caucus, 29 million Americans today have diabetes and another 86 million are at high risk for the disease.
A week later, Sablan announced that the task force has agreed that adults age 45 and older should be routinely screened for Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes, accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes, according to the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Report.
“Broader screening is important because finding the disease early can stop its progress or slow it down,” Sablan said.