Budget submission identifies diabetes priorities
Monday, 15 March 2021
Each year, Diabetes Queensland presents the State Government with a submission that outlines priorities for the diabetes community as part of the Budget process.
Following a challenging 2020 brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, our submission this year has focused on priorities to deliver positive change for the health and wellbeing of the diabetes community.
The three priority areas identified in our Budget submission were:
- a greater focus on and investment in preventive health
- investment in the earlier diagnosis of diabetes
- Investment in services required for people to manage the condition.
- We asked the Government to continue to support and build on the landmark prevention program,My health for life, which has enabled more than 10,000 Queenslanders to engage with the program, and have the opportunity to change lifestyle factors that are associated with chronic disease.
- The program, delivered by Diabetes Queensland and its partners in the Healthier Queensland Alliance – Heart Foundation, Stroke Foundation, Queensland Primary Health Networks (PHNs, Ethnic Community Councils of Queensland (ECCQ) and Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) – is evidence-based and accessible, and embeds lifestyle behaviour change in participants. To date more than 210,000 Queenslanders have engaged in a conversation about their health by undertaking a chronic disease risk assessment.
- We encouraged the Government to build on the establishment of Health and Wellbeing Queensland to escalate the focus on preventive health. Prevention expenditure yields high returns of $14 for every dollar spent on health prevention. Up to 60 per cent of cases of type 2 diabetes are preventable by modifying lifestyle behaviours.
- We urged the Government to continue and increase efforts to limit the advertising of unhealthy food and beverages to vulnerable audiences, especially children and youth.
- We asked for a trial at three major emergency departments to add HbA1c tests to the suite of blood tests taken. Emergency departments offer a convenient and low-cost opportunity to detect undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. As underlying cause in so many conditions, it can also be a very effective way of reducing the impact of complications.
- We urged the Government to undertake skilling campaigns in our health services, and education campaigns in the community, to recognise the signs of type 1 diabetes. Hospitalisation rates for children with Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) have increased nationwide by 14 per cent in five years. We are asking for a health professional team in each region to be equipped with the resources and information to increase the recognition and awareness of DKA.
- We also sought a supported campaign to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes symptoms to reduce the rate of DKA. With many diagnoses occurring in early childhood, it is important that parents are aware of symptoms, especially in their children’s non-verbal years by promoting a ‘4Ts’ campaign to highlight the main symptoms – Toilet, Thirsty, Tired, and Thinner.
Management of diabetes
- Diabetes Queensland sought urgent attention to ensure hospitals are able to deal with diabetes as a priority alongside any comorbidities, even when diabetes is not the cause for admission. This is consistently one of the greatest concerns of our members. Mismanagement of diabetes during a hospital stay prolongs the length of the hospital stay and increases the risk of complications and readmissions.
- We urged the Government to ensure that any patient admitted to hospital who has diabetes, regardless of the reason for admission, has their needs for diabetes met. It is essential that a person’s diabetes is treated as a primary condition, even when coexisting with other conditions.
- Diabetes Queensland also asked the Government to build on the changes to health service delivery that have occurred over the past year, to maintain beneficial e-health and telehealth delivery in regional areas.
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