Diabetes Australia welcomes Coalition’s $54 million diabetes commitment

Diabetes Australia warmly welcomes the Coalition’s election commitment of $54 million to help children and young adults living with type 1 diabetes to access continuous glucose monitoring, a technology which can be life saving and life changing for children and young people with type 1 diabetes and their families.

“This is a very significant announcement from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Health Minister Sussan Ley that will address a very serious problem affecting thousands of Australian families,” Diabetes Australia CEO A/Professor Johnson said.

“Continuous glucose monitoring can help prevent or reduce the incredibly serious impact of hypoglycaemia (dangerously low BGLs and potential for loss of consciousness and coma) and also the fear and anxiety associated with this that is an incredible burden on people with type 1 diabetes and their families and carers.

“Diabetes Australia has been advocating for a subsidy like this for the past four years because the evidence shows continuous glucose monitoring has real clinical benefits for some people with type 1 diabetes.

“We are confident that this initiative will improve the lives and give peace of mind to thousands of Australian children, young people and families with type 1 diabetes.”

A/Professor Johnson said he was proud to be part of an organisation leading the charge to secure funding for the potentially life-saving technology.

“Diabetes Australia, along with JDRF Australia, the Australian Diabetes Society, the Australian Paediatric Endocrine Group and the Australia Diabetes Educators Association, has fought hard to convince all sides of politics that CGM would not only save lives, but improve Australia’s health system, and we’re glad the government has listened,” he said.

“Working with stakeholders across the sector we looked at the latest research and developed a joint proposal representing best practice that helped make best use of the precious health budget.

“Last year we also ran an awareness event in Parliament House bringing together young people with diabetes and their families and politicians.”

A/Professor Johnson said the organisation frequently heard from people and families who would benefit from the technology and it was rewarding to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“CGM can be utterly transformative for some people with diabetes. It will give some people a new lease on life and I’d like to thank the Coalition for its commitment,” he said.

“While the announcement focuses on children and young people with diabetes up to the age of 21, we hope there will be flexibility with the program so other people who may find this technology very valuable can benefit.

“This includes women with diabetes in pregnancy and some adults aged over 21 who have impaired hypoglycaemia awareness.”

Currently in Australia, there are just under 14,000 children and young people with type 1 diabetes (under age 21) who will potentially benefit from this announcement.

Diabetes Australia is the national body for people affected by all types of diabetes and those at risk. Diabetes Australia is committed to reducing the impact of diabetes. We work in partnership with diabetes health professionals, researchers and the community to minimise the impact of diabetes.