THERE are fears for the health of local diabetics following the retirement of a visiting specialist.
Last week it was revealed that Professor Dennis Yue, who has been offering his services to Griffith people for 20 years and is considered one of the most experienced diabetes practitioners in Australia, has retired.
Griffith Branch of Australian Diabetes Council started bringing the diabetes outreach clinic to Griffith from the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital two decades ago, largely due to the late Gary Evans.
President Tom Marriott said he was worried this essential service may be lost to Griffith.
“It’s an unknown factor at the moment,” he said.
“We desperately need this clinic to continue. If not in this form, then in some way that will channel the generous support we receive into benefit for people with diabetes in the Murrumbidgee area.
“We have had Professor Steven Twigg who has been coming with Professor Yue for a few years and ideally we’d love to see him carry it on.
“I think it’s an essential service because many of these people who use the clinic couldn’t go to Sydney. Not only could they not afford it, a lot are elderly and wouldn’t be able to make the trip.”
Mr Marriott is encouraging locals to help make sure the clinic continues to operate.
“There is a crisis happening now with diabetes,” Mr Marriott said.
“It is a big worry. From our point of view we are very, very keen for this clinic to continue and we will do anything to make it happen.
“But we need people to participate in our group. We need ideas people to come to our meetings.
“We are anxious but if we get people to come and have input we can convince the powers that be to help us continue this clinic.”
Murrumbidgee Local Health District is working with Sydney Local Health District and Murrumbidgee Medicare Local on future arrangements for the service and will confirm clinic arrangements for the new year with patients when finalised.
Clinical nurse specialist and diabetes educator with Griffith Community Health Centre, Yvonne Peisley, said Professor Yue’s dedication was greatly appreciated.
According to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s Diabetes Centre, more than 1003 patients have been assessed at his specialist clinics.
“This long-standing support and assistance with diabetes management for the people of our region and for the GPs, doctors and nurses including education sessions requires commitment and true dedication,” Mrs Peisley said.
The Griffith branch meets every third Wednesday at 1pm, except during December and January, at the Mirrool Room at the Griffith Ex-Servicemen’s Club.