Diabetes patients in the New England can save thousands of dollars every year with free access to glucose monitoring devices coming into effect this month under measures introduced by the Federal Liberal Nationals Government.
Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the devices will save pregnant women, children and adults with type 1 diabetes up to $7,000 a year from the start of March.
The Government’s investment over the next five years will assist 37,000 eligible people, including many in the New England with type 1 diabetes through the expansion of the Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Initiative.
“For a number of years already, our Government has fully subsidised CGM products for children and young people, under 21 years of age, with type 1 diabetes,” Mr Joyce said.
“Now we’re broadening this program to include more people at risk in our communities, from Tamworth to Tenterfield, Armidale to Aberdeen, more patients will be able to access this life-saving service.”
From 1 March 2019, eligibility for fully subsidised CGM products will be expanded to include:
children and young people with conditions very similar to type 1 diabetes, such as cystic fibrosis related diabetes and neonatal diabetes, who require insulin;
women with type 1 diabetes who are pregnant, actively planning pregnancy, or immediately post-pregnancy; and
people with type 1 diabetes aged 21 years or older who have concessional status and have a high clinical need to access CGM products.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that attacks a person’s ability to produce insulin. People with this condition must be able to monitor their glucose levels day and night for the entire life.
A continuous glucose monitoring device will continually monitor a person’s glucose levels and provides alerts if glucose levels become unsafe.
The devices will assist a person with diabetes with the management of their condition, reduce emergency visits to the hospital, and improve their quality of life now and into the future.
Mr Joyce said the investment builds on more healthcare funding announced for the region including the addition of 3,354 MRI services here in the New England every year and 172 new residential aged care places across the electorate.
Eligibility criteria and additional information for the expanded CGM Initiative is available on the NDSS website at www.ndss.com.au