Fianna Fáil TD for Waterford, Mary Butler has said the decision by the Government to start reimbursing children and young adults with diabetes who use FreeStyle Libre is a positive step but more clarity is needed on how the process will work, and who will be allowed benefit.

Deputy Butler was commenting after the HSE announced that FreeStyle Libre which allows blood glucose levels to be monitored without invasive finger-prick testing would be reimbursed.

“This week I raised this issue during a special Topical Debate in the Dáil where I challenged the Minister of State representing the Government to give patients with diabetes and their families the answers they need.

“This is potentially a game changer for the 190,000 people living in Ireland with diabetes. I am aware of some patients in my own county who need to check their glucose levels up to 10 times per day. Using FreeStyle Libre will transform their lives.

“However, I have some concerns and questions. Will children and young adults using insulin pumps get the chance to use FreeStyle Libre? I cannot see a valid reason for them to be excluded. Equally, why are adults living with diabetes being excluded?

“Importantly, we need to know how long it will take before patients and families start feeling the effect of this announcement in their pockets. The device costs €120 per month, and I have yet to hear of a timescale from the Minister or the HSE as to when they will be allowed to start claiming for reimbursement.

“This is a positive step but the announcement by the Government has left as many questions as before.

“Ensuring better treatment of people living with diabetes in their home is better in the long run for them, their families, and ultimately for the State as more expensive hospital care will not be needed,” concluded Butler.