Diabetes is a top election issue

Diabetes Australia is pleased that diabetes is a key health issue being discussed during the 2016 Federal Election campaign. This is essential because around 1.5 million Australia families are affected by diabetes and the epidemic continues to grow.

Diabetes Australia CEO A/Professor Greg Johnson said he looked forward to diabetes announcements from the different parties during the election noting that prevention, care and treatment, hospitalisations and healthcare costs, and access to medicines and technologies were all important policy considerations.

He welcomed the Coalition’s recent election commitment to provide $54 million for continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) to support 4,000 children and young people under the age of 21.

“The Coalition’s announcement was positive and important to improve access to potentially life saving and life changing diabetes technology and was in line with a proposal Diabetes Australia put forward in partnership with JDRF and clinical experts (Australian Paediatric Endocrine Group, Australian Diabetes Society and Australian Diabetes Educators Association),” A/Professor Johnson said.

“However, our proposal was not limited to a particular age group but was targeted towards people with type 1 diabetes at the highest risk and who would benefit the most.”

The Diabetes Australia CGM submission outlined the following priorities:

  • Children with type 1 diabetes under 10 for whom hypoglycaemia can have a major adverse effect on the developing brain. Type 1 diabetes is more difficult to manage during childhood which increases the risk of poor metabolic control and hypoglycaemia, both of which may affect brain development and cognition
  • Some people with type 1 diabetes of any age have an impaired physiological awareness of impending hypoglycaemia and suffer from severe hypoglycaemia. These people are at a higher risk of diabetes-related complications.
  • During pregnancy, some women with type 1 diabetes experience unstable blood glucose levels which can affect the wellbeing of mother and child. This can increase the risk of pregnancy complications to then mother and the unborn baby.

A/Professor Johnson said he was confident Diabetes Australia, and its partners, would work with the next Federal Government to ensure Australian’s with type 1 diabetes at high risk and high need would benefit from CGM.

You can access our submission on CGM here.