CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - July 31, 2012) - The Canadian Podiatric Medical Association applauds the first report of the Health Care Innovation Working Group, entitled "From Innovation to Action," but encourages the working group to consider the many facets of health care practitioners that comprise the primary health care team.
"It is encouraging that the Health Care Innovation Working Group includes "innovation" in its name, however, that sense of innovation should also be used when determining the spectrum of practitioners within the primary health care team," said Dr. Joseph Stern, President of the Canadian Podiatric Medical Association (CPMA).
"Using examples from the report, such as foot ulcers and leg amputations, the working group should be expanding its team to include podiatrists, who are specialists in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot pain and foot disorders, both medically and surgically," added Stern. "Although the education, training and scope of practice of podiatrists differs somewhat across Canada, practitioners in this profession all focus specifically on the foot and ankle. Of particular note are Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPMs) who have considerable experience and significant success in healing ulcers of people with diabetes and helping to avoid amputations.
"People with diabetes are individuals who share a common disease with wide ranging effects," noted Dr. Timothy Kalla, an operative podiatrist in Vancouver, B.C. who specializes in preventing, diagnosing and treating diabetes-related foot problems, one of the leading causes of hospitalization for people with diabetes. "Some people with diabetes are at a very high risk for foot complications where others are not. As a result, foot care needs to be tapered to the individual, based on his or her risk status and presentation. Foot care may range from regular preventative foot care visits to emergency operations. "Diabetes management necessitates a team approach and podiatrists in Canada have the training and the ability to provide the full spectrum of foot care for people with diabetes."
"As the report states, about 85% of all leg amputations are the result of non-healing foot ulcers and research on best practices in prevention suggests that most diabetic foot ulcers and amputations can be prevented," advised Stern. "These statistics stress the importance of dealing with the epidemic of diabetes and the need to include podiatrists, who are specialists in the foot and ankle, to be part of the primary health care team. Amputation is always a last resort and with proper management, including a team approach to health care, Canadians can live well with diabetes."