Diabetes Australia disappointed at lack of technology funding in Federal Budget 1 April 2022 Diabetes Australia welcomed the cost-of-living measures in the Federal Budget, however the organisation was disappointed there was no funding to increase access to life-saving diabetes technology. Diabetes Australia Group CEO Justine Cain said the organisation had been hopeful funding would be allocated to expand the Continuous Glucose Monitoring Initiative which currently provides free access to continuous glucose monitoring and flash glucose monitoring technology for eligible groups. “Diabetes Australia shares the disappointment of Australia’s diabetes community that the Budget didn’t include funding to increase access to diabetes-related technology,” Ms Cain said. “There are tens of thousands of Australians who would benefit from this technology and I’ve heard countless stories from people living with type 1 diabetes about how this technology would improve their quality of life. “Additionally, improved access would reduce the incidence of debilitating short- and long-term diabetes complications. “We know it remains a leading priority for people living with type 1 diabetes and we will continue to advocate for expanding access in the lead up to the Federal Election.” Ms Cain said the organisation, along with the Australian Diabetes Educators Association and the Australian Diabetes Society was also advocating for funding to support the health professionals providing education to people with diabetes using these technologies. “Diabetes technology is life-changing but people with diabetes need access to education and support from endocrinologists and credentialled diabetes educators to ensure they can get the best of out of it,” she said. “So while we are grateful for the support the Government has already provided to help around half of all people with type 1 diabetes access the technology, it is important that the health professionals who are critical to the optimal use of these technologies aren’t forgotten and are appropriately reimbursed for their time and expertise.” Ms Cain said the Budget’s cost of living measures, including lowering the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme safety net thresholds to allow people access to cheaper medicines sooner, would help ease the financial pressure of managing diabetes. “Many people with diabetes use multiple medicines and lowering the safety net threshold could save people around $80 a year. That might not seem like a lot, but the recent Australian Health Consumer Sentiment Survey found almost one in four people could not afford to fill a prescription at some point in the past year,” Ms Cain said. “The other cost-of-living measures in the budget will also help people with diabetes, many of whom spend thousands of dollars a year managing the condition.” However, Ms Cain said the budget didn’t do enough to address the type 2 diabetes epidemic or to reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications. “I noted with interest funding for a study to look at the feasibility of introducing restrictions on the marketing of unhealthy food and drink to children,” she said. “This is definitely a step in the right direction but we were hoping for dedicated funding to support type 2 diabetes prevention programs and initiatives aimed at reducing the risk of debilitating and costly complications including kidney and heart disease.” Ms Cain said the upcoming Federal Election was an opportunity to secure more funding for diabetes. “Diabetes Australia’s election platform outlines nine key actions across four areas that would have a huge impact on the lives of people with diabetes and the sustainability of our health system,” she said. “Many of the actions we are calling for, including a Diabetes Kidney Disease Screening Program and a training program for aged care workers supporting people with diabetes, only require a small investment but would generate substantial savings for the health system. “We understand the current tight fiscal environment makes funding new programs difficult but what we are asking for is smart spending that builds a better, more resilient health system.” Read Diabetes Australia’s 2022 Federal Election Platform here.