Budget 2018: do you want the good news or the bad news for diabetes?

The good news from the 2018 federal Budget is that there is funding for insulin pumps, diabetes research and improved pregnancy education.

But while treasurer Scott Morrison delivered $140 billion dollars worth of funding for income tax cuts, Diabetes Australia lamented there was no funding for continuous glucose monitoring for people aged over 21, complications prevention, Flash Glucose Monitoring or type 2 diabetes prevention.

Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson said the significant expansion of the Insulin Pump Program announced in the 2018-19 Federal Budget was very welcome.

“Up to 280 Australian children with type 1 diabetes will now be able to access fully subsidised insulin pumps, up from only 66 pumps per year previously which is good news,” he said.

“There is extensive evidence demonstrating the improved health and quality of life benefits of insulin pump therapy for many people but when it comes to accessing this critical technology Australia lags behind many comparable countries so this is a step in the right direction.”

Diabetes Australia also welcomed the $14 million per year funding boost from the new Medical Research Future Fund for a Translation Research Accelerator for diabetes and heart disease. Professor Johnson said this would help researchers accelerate the process of progressing research from early studies through to human trials.

The Budget allocates around $11 million per year over two years to help older Australians get more active and help them prevent or manage chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes. There is also $750,000 per year over four years to improve education and develop resources to help pregnant women and their families achieve a healthy weight during pregnancy, to lower the risk of gestational diabetes.

However Professor Johnson noted the Budget did not contain funding for a number of the Diabetes Australia’s key priorities including blindness and amputation preventions initiatives, expansion of the Continuous Glucose Monitoring subsidy for those aged over 21 or new funding for Flash Glucose Monitoring.

“While insulin pumps are subsidised up to the age of 18 and CGM is subsidised up to the age of 21, these technologies are just as life changing and potentially life-saving if you are 25 or 30 or older,” he said.

“The cost of living with diabetes is high and accessing these 21st century technologies is out of reach for too many adults with diabetes who may be at high risk and we need to address this.

Professor Johnson said Diabetes Australia would continue to work with the Government on these priorities.

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