Australia has a health system funded by Medicare that ensures
all Australians can access health care at no cost.
As part of the diabetes annual Cycle of Care, every person with
diabetes can check on their blood pressure, kidney health, eye
health, cholesterol profile and more.
These checks may require a visit to the GP, Practice Nurse, an
Endocrinologist, Credentialed Diabetes Educator, Dietitian,
Optometrist, Podiatrist, Dentist, Pharmacist and/or Exercise
Physiologist. Also, mental health support may be needed due
to the increase risk of depression that is associated with living
This long list of appointments can be costly, in time and money.
However, visiting these health professionals may reduce the risk of
diabetes-related complications, so finding a cost effective
alternative is important.
If you are experiencing the financial burden of visiting your
health professionals, here are some alternatives:
- Queensland Health provides a dedicated diabetes service as part
of most hospital and health services. You have access to
Endocrinologists, Credentialled Diabetes Educators, Dietitians,
Podiatrists and Exercise Physiologists. All you need is a GP
- Optometrists bulk bill general eye examinations and if you ring
around, you can often find an Optometrist who waives the gap for
the diabetes eye examination as well.
- Your GP can refer you for psychologist support with a GP Mental
Health Plan where many appointments can be accessed at no cost.
Check if there is a gap with the provider before your
- For an Endocrinologist consultation, at no cost, ask your GP to
refer you to the local diabetes service at your nearest public
hospital. In rural areas, the Telehealth and fly in, fly out
Endocrinologist visits regional hospitals.
- For dental services in the public health system, contact 1300
300 850. You will require a health care card and you may be placed
on a waiting list.
- In rural and remote areas where Queensland Health do not have
many allied health services in that region or have long waiting
lists, there is funding called the Medicare Allied Health
Initiative. This program funds not for profit services to
provide allied health services in rural locations. Your GP is able
to refer you to this program.
- Your General Practitioner can also refer you to private allied
health professionals through a Team Care Arrangement (TCA) for a
total of five subsidised visits per calendar year. Some
health professionals bulk bill, so it pays to ring around before
your appointment. If you have a DVA Gold Card then your
visits are fully funded with a GP referral and the number of visits
to a health professional is not limited.
- Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) are
throughout Queensland. They provide general practitioner,
allied health and specialist services for Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people, at no cost.
- To find those health care providers near you, there is an app
called 'Access My Community'. This app provides you with a
list of health services in your community. If you do not have a
smart phone this can be accessed via the webpage www.mycommunitydirectory.com.au
Ensuring that you maintain regular visits with your 'team' of
health professionals reduces the risk of diabetes
complications. It does not need to be a financial