Accessibility of diabetes care in the Czech Republic =Dostupnost diabetologické péče v České republice
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Diabetes mellitus is a life-threatening disease, characterised by increased levels of sugar in the blood. In recent years, the incidence of diabetes has increased markedly and it is a lifestyle disease that is not only a problem in advanced parts of the world. The situation in the Czech Republic is much like that in other countries in the world and the prevalence of diabetes amongst Czechs is growing annually. Understandably, increasing attention will be focused on treatment options and prevention programmes that could halt the large increase in diabetes sufferers. Records held by the largest Czech health insurance company, Czech General Health Insurance (VZP) show that there are 510 diabetology clinics and 639 practising diabetologists. This article uses data collected by this health insurance company in the Czech Republic. Although the number of diabetologists has risen in recent years in the Czech Republic, one cannot simply say that there is adequate healthcare available for diabetes sufferers. There are many factors that are not sufficiently reflected in the statistics traditionally collected on the number of physicians per 100,000 inhabitants and which call for other, more comprehensive, approaches. One possible approach is the analysis provided in this article of the accessibility of diabetes care in the Czech Republic. ArcGIS software and Network Analyst extension is used to display the network of diabetes clinics in the Czech Republic and by creating a network of the access routes, the length of time required to access clinics is analysed.