Cyprus approves a new diabetes strategic plan
On 6 April 2016 – the day before World Health Day, which in 2016 focuses on diabetes – the Council of Ministers of Cyprus approved the newly developed diabetes strategic plan. All related stakeholders, such as representatives of the International Diabetes Federation, patients' organizations, universities, scientific societies and ministerial departments, worked synergistically in developing the plan, which was coordinated by the Ministry of Health.
The Plan (2016–2020) is based on 5 pillars.
Prevention and health promotion
In terms of primary prevention, the plan focuses on promoting a healthy lifestyle through school health services and community-based programmes. It targets populations at risk, like migrants from certain geographical areas, individuals with a family history of diabetes or people who take long-term medication that predisposes them to diabetes. In terms of secondary prevention, the plan introduces nationwide screening programmes for pregnant women.
Diagnosis and treatment
This pillar focuses on how to establish and strengthen multidisciplinary teams to treat diabetes, to implement treatment according to protocols and guidelines, and to monitor clinical/laboratory data. It aims to improve diabetes self-management education, empower patients, and promote physical activity in and provide social support to people with diabetes. Finally, special attention is paid to continuous medical education programmes and training for professionals.
The plan focuses on managing the rehabilitation process for people with diabetes, encouraging the cooperation with other ministries (e.g. social services) and monitoring vulnerable groups.
The strategy plans for the development of a central research body on health issues and a central research database connected with other European international centres.
The fifth pillar of the plan calls for development of a national diabetes registry and for staff training in software for recording diabetes data.
The also includes effective ways to reduce health care costs such as the enhancement of the role of primary health care; the development of guidelines, pathways and protocols; and through patient empowerment by encouraging shared decision-making (education) and the nationwide introduction of documentation.