The Coalition's Policy to Help Families with Diabetes

Key Commitments

There are currently 120,000 Australians with Type 1 diabetes, including around 13,600 children and young people under 21 years of age.

Type 1 diabetes is a non-preventable autoimmune disease that develops when the immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is different to Type 2 diabetes, which is often associated with modifiable lifestyle risk factors.

There are approximately six new cases of Type 1 diabetes diagnosed every day.

There are around 50,000 hospitalisations due to Type 1 diabetes every year.

Diabetes costs the Australian health system around $1.6 billion annually.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare notes that:

“Type 1 diabetes has an enormous burden on both individuals and the community. For those with the condition, it impacts on a range of health problems, disability, quality of life and premature death, particularly when it is not well managed. For the community, the financial burden of Type 1 diabetes is estimated to be $570 million annually in Australia…Given the high incidence in Australia and increases around the world, continued monitoring and reporting of Type 1 diabetes is essential.”

The Coalition will do more to help children and young adults under 21 years of age with Type 1 diabetes.

We will invest $54 million under the National Diabetes Services Scheme to provide more affordable access to continuous glucose monitoring technology for children and young people under 21 years of age facing extra challenges managing their diabetes who would benefit most from this technology.

A continuous glucose monitoring device provides continuous, 24-hour per day, monitoring of a person’s glucose levels and can improve the quality of life especially for people at risk of hypoglycaemia.

Continuous glucose monitoring assists people with Type 1 diabetes, and families of younger children, to better self-manage their diet, food and medicine intake, and exercise levels. This can also lead to better health and wellbeing.

Our commitment will make life easier for children and young people with Type 1 diabetes, will give them and their parents the confidence and support needed to better self-manage Type 1 diabetes, and could save the average family with a child with impaired hypo awareness as much as $50,000.

Our Plan to Help Families with Diabetes

The Coalition will do more to help children and young adults under 21 with Type 1 diabetes.

We will invest $54 million under the National Diabetes Services Scheme to provide more affordable access to continuous glucose monitoring technology for children and young people under 21 years of age facing challenges managing their diabetes.

This commitment will give parents and their children the confidence and support needed to better self-manage Type 1 diabetes and have a positive effect on health and wellbeing. This could potentially mean fewer hospital visits, more days at school, and better health outcomes.

The Minister for Health will approve the addition of continuous glucose monitoring devices to be subsidised on the National Diabetes Services Scheme.

The National Diabetes Services Scheme was established in 1987 and aims to improve health outcomes for people with diabetes through the provision of subsidised aids, equipment and appliances, and appropriate self-management information and support services.

The products currently subsidised through the National Diabetes Services Scheme are needles, syringes, blood glucose test strips, urine test strips, and insulin pump consumables, which consist of infusion sets, cannulas, reservoirs, tubing and cartridges.

The Commonwealth also funds insulin pumps for approximately 68 children aged 18 years and younger per year.

The current government-funded method for people with diabetes to test their blood glucose is through finger prick, which, in a small child, is a very difficult and very stressful task for a parent to perform, particularly during the night.

Continuous glucose monitoring devices effectively provide real time blood glucose readings and reduces the amount of daily finger pricks needed.

Without these regular readings, people with impaired hypo awareness can have unstable blood sugar levels, leading to kidney damage, heart disease or even early death.

However, continuous glucose monitoring devices can cost as much as $4,000 per year for families and private health insurance policies do not generally cover the costs of these devices.

Our commitment could save the average family with a child with impaired hypo awareness as much as $50,000.

The Coalition will work in partnership with Diabetes Australia, JDRF, diabetes professional bodies, researchers and treating doctors to implement this commitment. Our commitment will make life easier for children and young people with Type 1 diabetes and will give them and their parents the confidence and support needed to better manage Type 1 diabetes.

The Choice

The Coalition has a strong record on diabetes.

We are helping young Australians with $35 million provided for research into Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes.

We provided $1.4 million in funding for additional insulin pumps for children.

We delivered on a National Diabetes Strategy 2016-2020 and are working with State and Territory Governments to develop a National Implementation Plan for diabetes prevention and control.

We provided funding for facilities to support children needing palliative care, such as Hummingbird House in Queensland, Bear Cottage in New South Wales, and Very Special Kids in Victoria.

We also delivered a $100 million Sporting Schools programme, which will get more children fit and healthy and involved in sport earlier in life.

Labor’s record on health is to just cut.

Labor cut $1 billion from Medicare for Dental and means-tested it.

Labor cut $500 million from Medicare for Pathology.

Labor cut $664 million from Medicare for GPs.

Labor cut $450 million from Medicare Safety Net protections.

Labor cut $2.5 billion from pharmacy and medicines.

Labor blocked access to life-saving medicines.

Labor cut $4 billion from the Private Health Insurance rebate for consumers, and means-tested it.

Labor refuses to back its unfunded $57 billion hospitals promise – their biggest cut in waiting.

Labor promised 64 GP Super Clinics across the country but only delivered 33.

Under Labor, median waiting times for elective surgery increased from 34 days to 36 days.

Labor promised to ‘end the blame game’ in health funding – but didn’t.

Costs

The Coalition will invest $54 million to help families with diabetes.

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