From today, the Turnbull Government is providing free continuous glucose monitoring devices to eligible children and people under the age of 21 years with type 1 diabetes.
This new lifesaving technology will reduce the hassle of the daily finger-prick for people with diabetes who use this new product.
It will also provide much needed support for the difficult challenge of managing blood glucose levels, particularly in identifying symptoms of hypoglycaemia.
Eligible young Australians will now be able to access these devices for free through the National Diabetes Services Scheme – saving around $4000 per year.
This will be life-changing for children, young people and their families.
The $54 million initiative will help families and children to better self-manage their diabetes, reducing visits to emergency departments and missed school days.
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.
While the finger-prick method is effective and accurate, it can be quite a difficult and upsetting process for some children and their parents, with up to 10 tests needed every day – including several times every night.
For some families it may require waking a child in the middle of the night or interrupting them during the day at school.
In contrast, continuous glucose monitors will alert users or their parents if glucose levels are getting too low without the need for continuous finger prick tests. This helps to reduce stress and anxiety for everyone involved.
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 access continuous glucose monitors products children and young adults will need to consult with an authorised health professional, who will assess the patient’s suitability against specific eligibility criteria, as part of an overall management plan for diabetes.
From today, eligibility assessment forms will be available to download at www.ndss.com.au