The Australian Government is committed to preventing the onset of diabetes, and to ensuring that people affected by diabetes have access to affordable, high quality treatment for their condition.
110307_-_053_Sharon_Bird_MP_E_Health_Display_13_Sep_0053.jpgThe Government has made significant investments to support the management and treatment of diabetes in the Australian community.  This support includes access to medical services through the Medicare Benefits Schedule and medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.  Diabetes products and services are also being funded through the National Diabetes Services Scheme, which assists people with diabetes to self-manage their condition and ensures access for individuals no matter where they reside in Australia.  A further measure, the Type 1 Diabetes Insulin Pump Program, provides a means-tested subsidy to assist young people under the age of 18 years (who have diabetes) with the cost of purchasing an insulin pump.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for around nine in every ten cases of the disease and can be prevented, or delayed, through increased exercise, improved eating habits, and maintaining a healthy weight.  In recognition that diseases like type 2 diabetes can be prevented, the Government is providing $872.1 million over six years (from 2009-10) under the Council of Australian Governments National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health, to address the rising prevalence of lifestyle related chronic disease by laying the foundations for healthy behaviours in the daily lives of Australians.
The Government has also implemented the National Gestational Diabetes Register (NGDR), administered by Diabetes Australia.  The NGDR will seek to reduce future instances of type 2 diabetes by targeting Australian women (previously affected by gestational diabetes) and encouraging them to undertake regular screening for the disease.
To help ensure that health professionals are providing best practice care to patients with diabetes, Government funding has been provided to allow appropriate organisations to develop and disseminate approved clinical practice guidelines.
The Government understands that often, people with diabetes who live in rural and remote areas require additional support.  The Rural Primary Health Services Program increases access to a range of primary and allied health care services (including those provided by dieticians, podiatrists and diabetes management nurses for diabetic conditions) in rural and remote communities.  In recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at particularly high risk of developing chronic diseases, the expanded Medical Specialist Outreach Assistance Program provides teams of specialists, GPs and allied health professionals to treat diseases, such as diabetes, in Indigenous communities.
The Government has also made significant contributions to ongoing diabetes research through the provision of National Health and Medical Research Council grants.
Additional information regarding the work of the Australian Government on diabetes can be found at http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/pq-diabetes-gov.