A re-elected Coalition Government will invest $54 million subsidising continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology for children and young adults under 21 years old facing extra challenges managing their Type 1 diabetes.
Our commitment is estimated to benefit as many as 4000 children and young adults, and could save the average family up to $4000 per year off the cost of managing their child’s Type 1 diabetes.
It will help reduce possible visits to emergency departments and missed school days by allowing families and children to better self-manage their diabetes. Most importantly, it will help reduce stress and anxiety for children and their parents, and even save lives.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease attacking a person’s ability to produce insulin, for which there is no cure. This means Australians with Type 1 diabetes are required to draw blood via a ‘finger-prick’ multiple times a day to monitor their glucose levels.
Without regular monitoring, they risk both short and long term complications including injury, lasting damage or even death. While the finger-prick method is a very effective and accurate monitoring tool, drawing blood at regular intervals every day can be a very difficult, stressful and upsetting task for children and their parents. This can include waking children in the middle of the night and monitoring them during the school day.
Regular monitoring is even more essential where certain children are unable to feel when their blood sugar levels are falling and they are heading towards a hypoglycaemic episode. Subsidising Continuous Glucose Monitors will help these children and their p arents monitor their blood sugar levels around the clock through a small, wearable device that will instantly warn them if glucose levels are getting too low without the need to continually draw blood through a finger prick.
A re-elected Coalition Government will take immediate action to subsidise of CGM devices on the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) for these estimated 4000 children and young adults under 21 who extra challenges managing their Type 1 diabetes.
Without subsidisation, CGM devices can cost families up to $4000 per year. Type 1 diabetes is not attributed to modifiable lifestyle factors such as obesity and diet like Type 2 diabetes. Today’s commitment follows the Coalition delivering on its promise to develop a National Diabetes Strategy within our first term of Government, leveraging new technology to support people with diabetes being a key recommendation.
The Coalition developed this policy in consultation with a range of stakeholders, including Diabetes Australia, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, diabetes professional bodies, researchers and treating doctors, and we thank them for their input and advocacy.