Australian diabetes sector welcomes the release of new National Diabetes Strategy 14 November 2021 Diabetes Australia has welcomed the release of the new Australian National Diabetes Strategy 2021-2030, announced this morning on World Diabetes Day by the Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP. Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson said the Strategy would help guide Australia’s response to the diabetes epidemic over the coming decade and he thanked Minister Hunt for his strong support for people affected by diabetes. “As a nation, we’ve been very pre-occupied with the impact and risks of COVID – meanwhile the serious impacts of the growing diabetes epidemic have continued,” Professor Johnson said. “Another 120,000 Australians have been diagnosed with diabetes in the past year and over 17,000 deaths in that time have been attributable to diabetes. “Diabetes is one of the most significant challenges currently facing Australia’s health system and the new National Diabetes Strategy 2021-2030 outlines the key areas including prevention, early detection, management and care that must be addressed more urgently in the coming decade. “There are currently over 1.4 million people living with known, diagnosed diabetes who are registered with the National Diabetes Services Scheme. In addition, there are an estimated 500,000 Australians with silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes and two million Australians with pre-diabetes who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the coming years. “Diabetes impacts almost every Australian family in some way, and we welcome the new Strategy to guide how the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments jointly and individually respond to this serious threat to the health and wellbeing of the community. “In particular, we are pleased the new Strategy highlights key issues that require special attention including diabetes in aged care, prevention of type 2 diabetes, and diabetes in First Nations communities. “Aged care is an area of particular concern with estimates that 15-20% of all people in residential aged care facilities are living with diabetes. “Many of these older Australians have complex diabetes care needs and there are many failings in our current aged care system to address, in order to provide the specialised care these people need. “When it comes to prevention – we know type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed in up to 58% of cases and we urgently need a National Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Program with all the States and Territories and Commonwealth working together to reduce the number of Australians developing type 2 diabetes. “Diabetes is particularly devastating for First Nations Australians and communities and it is a major contributor to the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. “The gap is not closing and we hope the new Strategy will guide important steps and stronger action. “Diabetes Australia will shortly release its platform for the next Federal Election and we will be calling for commitments in many key areas identified in the new Strategy.” Australian Diabetes Society CEO Professor Sof Andrikopoulos said it was important that the new Strategy was backed up by significant investment. “The Strategy is an excellent roadmap but it needs to be supported by significant ongoing funding from the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments to reduce the impact of diabetes,” Professor Andrikopoulos said. Australian Diabetes Educators Association CEO Susan Davidson applauded the Government and said Australia’s diabetes healthcare workforce looked forward to contributing to the implementation of the Strategy. “We are lucky in Australia that we have a passionate, skilled and committed diabetes healthcare workforce and this Strategy will help amplify their efforts to support people with diabetes,” Ms Davidson said. “It is particularly fitting that this new ten-year plan is announced on World Diabetes Day 14 November, which commemorates the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who was part of the team that discovered insulin. This year we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin and the millions of lives it has saved,” Professor Johnson said. “But there is still so much we don’t know about diabetes and its complications, and the new and better ways to prevent and manage the many different types of diabetes. There is a great need to increase funding for diabetes-related research in Australia.” Professor Johnson said Diabetes Australia was very pleased that there had been strong input to the new Australian National Diabetes Strategy 2021-2030 from an Expert Advisory Group, led by the Hon Judi Moylan AO and Professor Paul Zimmet AO, and he thanked all members of the Advisory Group for their contribution. You can read the Strategy here.