Diabetes on the European agenda. Simon Busutill MEP and Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė MEP
After two and half years of concerted action by MEPs from the EU Diabetes Working Group, the European Parliament today overwhelmingly adopted a Resolution on the fight against diabetes, putting diabetes firmly among the priority diseases to be addressed along with other major non-communicable diseases.
Welcoming the debate and the Resolution, Simon Busuttil MEP made a passionate appeal for the European Commission and EU Member States to get together to draw up a European Diabetes Strategy as well as complementary national strategies.
"More than 32 million EU citizens are affected by diabetes and another 32 million citizens have a high probability of contracting it. I am not a medical doctor, but even I can see that the situation is very serious", said Mr Busuttil.
Simon Busuttil, the Co-chair of the EU Diabetes Working Group in the European Parliament, and Radvile Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė MEP co-authored the Resolution on fighting diabetes that was adopted by the European Parliment. The Resolution calls on the European Commission "to develop and implement a targeted EU Diabetes Strategy".
"With the right care strategies, diabetes patients can, in most cases, lead a pretty normal lifestyle. But unfortunately, diabetes is frequently diagnosed too late leading to severe complications in human health", Mr Busuttil said.
Lithuanian MEP Radvile Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė stressed the need for consolidated efforts from all the Institutions responsible for shaping health policy, including in EU research and NGOs. "Only by taking early action can we prevent further complications of this disease and overall prevalence of diabetes."
"Cost constraints are often the reason we don't fight harder but this argument does not apply to diabetes because fighting diabetes results in huge savings for healthcare systems by avoiding future costs of fighting complications", Simon Busuttil added.
On behalf of the European Commission, Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said that the European Commission will study the European Parliament's Resolution carefully to accommodate the European Parlimant's requests for further action.
For further information:
Simon Busuttil MEP, Tel: +33-3-88-175686
Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė MEP, Tel: +33-3-88-175243
David Stellini, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-473-541926
Giedre Uzdilaitė, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-474 942022
Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 271 Members.