Diabetes Australia welcomes The Greens chronic disease policy 27 May 2016 Diabetes Australia welcomed the release of the The Greens policy on chronic disease management in the primary health sector. Diabetes Australia A/Professor Greg Johnson said the policy aligned with Diabetes Australia’s advocacy and many key points in the recently released National Diabetes Strategy 2016-2020 and would help to ensure the 1.5 million Australians affected by diabetes could get more coordinated, less fragmented access to healthcare and support. “Diabetes is the single biggest challenge confronting Australia’s health system and it is important we have the right primary healthcare policies to keep people healthy and out of hospital,” A/Professor Greg Johnson said. “Managing diabetes care is complex. People with diabetes need integrated healthcare from a number of health professionals, and of course the needs change as diabetes is a progressive condition. “We welcome the promise of more funding to better coordinate care and to support primary health networks (PHNs) in facilitating better access to essential allied health professionals for people with diabetes. “Effective diabetes management requires access to a range of allied health professionals and specialist services including diabetes educators, eye care professionals, podiatrists, dietitians, psychologists, exercise professionals and others but the current system and funding means people often miss out. “Diabetes is a leading cause of preventable blindness and limb amputation and a number of other serious complications. Many of these costly and debilitating complications can be prevented by better coordinated care and more timely access to health professionals.” A/Professor Johnson said the focus on performance targets and benchmarks for Primary Health Networks is also important. “The public needs to know just how common and serious the complications of diabetes are, and we should be seeing targets to reduce eye damage, amputations and other serious problems, and also see real progress in future.” A/Professor Johnson said he looked forward to further diabetes announcements from different parties on a range of key issues including prevention, care and treatment and access to medicines and technologies.