Continuous Glucose Monitors in Australia

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torana DAFNE Graduate
Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW
37 posts

“The Federal Government has announced it will invest an additional $100 million over four years to support patients with type 1 diabetes. From 1 March 2019, eligibility for fully subsidised continuous glucose monitoring devices will be expanded under the National Diabetes Services Scheme to include:

>women with type 1 diabetes who are pregnant, breastfeeding or actively planning a pregnancy
>people with type 1 diabetes aged 21 years or older who have concessional status, and who have a high clinical need (such as experiencing recurrent severe hypoglycaemic events)
>children and young people with conditions similar to type 1 diabetes who require insulin (this includes a range of conditions such as cystic fibrosis-related diabetes or neonatal diabetes)”. (RACGP)

The new scheme caters for 37,000 Australians. There are 130,000 type one diabetics in Australia.

I am thrilled that nearly one third of us are being finally catered and subsidised for the CGM by our National Diabetic Scheme.
How are the other two thirds feeling, many who are most probably DAFNE members?
I am still working, have had diabetes for nearly 50 years and find that the eligibility criteria, likewise for most probably many DAFNE members for the CGM, will not be subsided! The decision appears to be determined by the the difficultly of personal control ie. pregnancy and under 21 years of age.
I am sure many DAFNE members are also having critical problems in terms of control. Do we have to wait four years to gain eligibility to this new exceptional technology.
I look forward to your response.

michaelj DAFNE Graduate
South East Kent PCT
35 posts

Hi Torana
Much the same in the UK. I've been type 1 for close on 58 years and when my consultant suggested I try CGM, and sent a letter to my doctor to recommend this, they just laughed when I asked them if they would provide a unit. (Too expensive was the reply). As we are all expected to do our best to live a healthy life style, and try to keep your diabetes under control it seems you have to abandon all control, get the paramedics out every week to get you out of a hypo, or run around with very high blood sugars and then you qualify. Never mind the risk of foot and leg damage. risk of loss of sight, heart problems and and all the other problems that poor diabetes control can produce, the powers that be clearly think that spending millions on corrective procedures is cheaper than helping to improve peoples control and therefore health. I sometimes wonder if any of the so called experts that decide these things where-ever in the world you live, have any idea what it's like to live with a long term condition. I despair at the logic that says let people worse and only then we'll try to make you better.

marke Site Administrator
South East Kent PCT
651 posts

Like my fellow diabetic in South East Kent, I look on with envy at what they are planning to do in Oz. In the UK the NHS and Abbott agreed to provide their CGM ( freestyle libre) on the NHS. Sadly that's as far as it went as none of the Health Trusts in the UK can afford to provide them. I think the key phrase in the Oz scheme is 'Clinical need' , just like in the UK that translates to you have to have very poor control and complications before they will provide a CGM by which time what you need is surgery not a device.....

torana DAFNE Graduate
Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW
37 posts

Hi Marke,
No wonder you’re envious. When I first saw the CGM on Theresa May’s arm on the news last year I was also envious of the British NHS. As we all know envy is one of the deadly sins. It appears that Theresa May is just a reflection of the higher end socio economic group being able to afford the latest health saving technology whilst others as Michaelj and myself wait till we are totally out of control, in dire straits with diabetic complications to receive the needed support. While in emergency at my local hospital I have spoken to many young doctors who have come from England who deride the British system and come out here. At least in France they riot to be heard over inequality even if it is over petrol tax. To conclude, as Michaelj inferred, we are all living with this chronic debilitating diabetic condition together and to pit one group with subsidised new technology whether it be postcodes, age, pregnancy, concession holders against another with similar conditions is simply wrong and unethical.