The Health Service Executive (HSE) will be present at this year's National Ploughing Championships with HSELive, its public information service, to help improve health and wellbeing of the public and to give practical, helpful answers to any questions people have about their health entitlements and services.
Geraldine Charman, HSELive team leader explains: “We will be on hand to tell people how to access health services, who qualifies for HSE health services and where to find further information about health. We’re delighted to be at the Ploughing Championships this year, and encourage attendees to drop by for a chat with our HSELive team. We’re here to help.”
Specific examples of information HSELive can help you with include how to:
• Register a birth;
• Apply for a death certificate;
• Get married in Ireland;
• Apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC); and
• Apply for the Drugs Payment Scheme.
Free advice and information regarding HSE campaigns such as alcohol (askaboutalcohol.ie), quitting smoking (QUIT.ie), dementia (understandtogether.ie), sepsis, START campaign (healthy eating and physical activity) and sexual wellbeing will be readily available to all visitors to the HSE stands as well as a registration area for BowelScreen and Diabetic RetinaScreen, and information on sun protection.
The HSE will also have a community dietitian at the stand each day to answer any questions visitors may have about type 2 diabetes, and to support them in learning more about what they can do to prevent and treat diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, completing a diabetes support course is now recommended as a key part of your treatment. The course will help those with type 2 diabetes to manage their condition and lead as healthy a life as possible. Courses are for people who are newly diagnosed or living with diabetes for many years, and course details are also available at hse.ie or by calling HSELive on 1850 24 1850. Courses are free for medical card and non-medical card holders.
It is estimated that about 225,000 people are living with diabetes in Ireland and the number is rising. Poorly controlled diabetes can cause serious short and long-term health problems if it is not looked after. One in 12 people in Ireland over the age of 50 are known to have type 2 diabetes.
According to Dr Karen Harrington, HSE national clinical specialist dietitian/diabetes: “The HSE is at the Ploughing Championships this year to help attendees learn more about the support available across Ireland for people with type 2 diabetes, and to help them book a place on a free diabetes support course near them. A community dietitian will be available each day to answer any questions you may have and to support you learn more about what you can do to prevent and treat diabetes. Don’t plough alone with type 2 diabetes, we’re here to help you.”
The HSE will also provide skin cancer information during the Championships as farmers are at a higher risk of skin cancer because they work mostly outdoors. According to the Irish Cancer Society, one in four deaths from skin cancer in Ireland are from those working in the construction or farming industry. There are now over 1,000 deaths from malignant melanoma in Ireland each year and this number is growing. Ninety per cent of all skin cancers are directly associated with over exposure to UV light. An Australian programme called ‘Sunsmart’ was introduced in the 1980s and has resulted in Australia being the only country in the world to actually level off their incidence of skin cancer. Skin cancers can also be detected early by learning how to examine your skin.
Selene Daly, dermatology nurse specialist in Sligo University Hospital, who will be present at the ploughing championship to give advice says: “Despite being the most common cancer in Ireland, skin cancer can be prevented. The key skin cancer prevention message for Irish people, who have a fair complexion and are prone to sunburn is to follow the Irish Cancer Society’s ‘SunSmart Code’, which is to seek shade between 11am-3pm, cover up using long sleeve clothing, sunglasses and a wide brim hat and use a high factor sunscreen with SPF 30 or 50.”
Registration for both BowelScreen, which offers a free home test to men and women aged 60 to 69 every two years, and Diabetic RetinaScreen, the national diabetic retinal screening programme which offers free, regular diabetic retinopathy screening to people with diabetes aged 12 years and older, will also be available at the HSE stands at the Ploughing.