Last month we asked you to share your thoughts on products you
would like to see the Australian Government subsidise through the
National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS). Thank you to those who
provided feedback. Read on to find which areas were of greatest
importance to you.
Diabetes Queensland used its submission to the Department of
Health to voice the concerns of our members about several products
that are not currently or adequately subsidised.
Your feedback clearly told us that when it came to managing your
diabetes, the expensive equipment and technology was unaffordable,
and the small expenses quickly added up to become big ticket items
in your weekly budget. That's why we asked that lancets be added to
the subsidy list.
We want to ensure that the decision about changing a lancet, is a
decision about what's best for your health, not about
affordability. In a recent social media poll nearly 55% of
respondents told us they were using the same lancet 20 or more
times to economise. So this is definitely something we wanted to
highlight on your behalf.
Similarly, we asked for the BD AutoShield to be covered, because
it is so helpful to people with needle phobia or medical tremors.
Unsubsidised, it is often not even an option.
Technology is one of the areas we hear most about from our
members. We understand that technology like Continuous Glucose
Monitoring (CGM) is beneficial to your health but the costs can be
prohibitive. That's why we're calling on the Government to both
amend the criteria for access to CGM, and to add Freestyle Libre to
the subsidy list alongside CGM.
While we welcome the subsidies currently available we are asking
the Government to radically change its approval process, so that
CGM technology becomes universally available and affordable. We see
this as an essential change required to support effective diabetes
management for individuals and health providers.
The great advantage of the Freestyle Libre is that it can be used
in 'pulses' or in constant use. Even periodic use can identify the
best management practises, and help to stabilise issues
experienced, reducing the risks of preventable hospitalisation and
complications of diabetes. However, it costs about $100 a fortnight
Diabetes Queensland has asked for Freestyle Libre to be made
affordable and accessible to all people requiring insulin for their
diabetes, in consultation with their health professionals. We have
also described its importance to particular groups such as first
time insulin-users, those experiencing repeated hypoglycaemic
episodes, people managing diabetes alongside other health
conditions, women with gestational diabetes, people in aged care
and disability facilities, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Diabetes Queensland used its submission to highlight how
technology can help reduce the psychological impact of the constant
and unending management of diabetes. Having access to affordable
technology can positively affect a person's physical and mental
health, reduce the risk of diabetes related complications and the
health burdens which are associated with managing the