We have contacted asist. dr. Draženka Pongrac Barlovič, dr. med. University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Clinical Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolic Disease from Slovenia. Due to her full schedule we could not arrange a meeting so we have sent her an email with the questions. Here are her answers:
Who decides if you have diabetes?
The medical doctor decides it on the basis of laboratory tests.
Do we have special doctors for diabetic patients and who is going to them?
Diabetes care is organised on the primary level, usually for patients with type 2 diabetes is treated with a diet or with simple oral treatment regimens. On the secondary level, doctors treat patients with diabetes. They have a 6-year specialisation of Internal medicine after finished 6 years of Medical University School. They treat patients with Type 2 diabetes on complex oral treatment, patients treated with insulin, GLP-1 agonists, patients with type 1 diabetes and some other special types of diabetes.
Do you get a recept from the General Practitioner for the pharmacy?
You can get a recept from the General Practitioner and from the specialist. You get an E-prescription. Only for the special devices (glucometer, insulin pumps, etc.) the prescription comes only from the specialist from the secondary level.
If the patient knows that he has diabetic, who gives him information about the topic?
The patient hears the diagnosis from the doctor. The doctor gives him some information. Also some information is given by the nurse educator, specialised for diabetes.
Are workshops being given?
For what do diabetic patients have to pay?
They have to pay for practically nothing. They only need to buy diagnostic strips for the blood glucose monitoring if they have type 2 diabetes on oral treatment. Also they have to pay if they want to measure the blood sugar level by themselves.
How are elder people being treated?
According the guidelines.
What is the main cause for diabetes in Ljubljana?
We do not know what is the real cause of type 2 diabetes anywhere in the world, so neither in Ljubljana. We do know diabetes type 2 is a multifactorial disease.
How often do patients come back to your office or go to their doctor to get a new recipe?
Usually the prescription is prescribed every 3 months for the chronic treatment, also for diabetes. In the last year or two patients also have the possibility to get a one-year prescription, and with that, they collect the drugs at the pharmacists every 3 months.
If you have diabetes, you can have complications with your feet and eyes. Do you examine the patients immediately or only when they complain about it?
We screen patients for chronic complications regularly (once per year). Patients with type 2 diabetes we start to screen from the time of diagnosis onwards.