Children suffering type 1 diabetes will no longer face the stress of having up to 10 blood tests a day thanks to a Federal Government initiative supplying eligible families with free, continuous glucose monitoring devices.
“This will quite literally be life-changing for young diabetics and their families,” Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien said of the $54 million initiative.
“The devices help with the difficult challenge of managing blood glucose levels and in identifying symptoms of hypoglycaemia which can be fatal.”
“Eligible young Australians will now be able to access these devices for free through the National Diabetes Services Scheme – saving around $4000 per year.”
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that attacks a person’s ability to produce insulin.
Children and young people with the disease have to monitor their glucose levels around the clock.
Mr O’Brien said the finger-prick method was effective and accurate but could also be difficult and upsetting for children and their parents.
“For many families it means waking a child in the middle of the night or interrupting them during the day at school,” Mr O’Brien said.
“In contrast, a continuous glucose monitor is a small wearable device that alerts users or their parents if glucose levels are getting too low or too high.”
The Turnbull Government has worked collaboratively with expert endocrinologists and paediatricians and diabetes educators, as well as Diabetes Australia, the DANII Foundation, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
To apply, children and people under the age of 21 with type 1 diabetes need to be assessed by an authorised health professional against the programs suitability and eligibility criteria, as part of an overall diabetes management plan.
Eligibility assessment forms are available to download at www.ndss.com.au