National Diabetes Strategy stuck in limbo

It’s called the National Diabetes Strategy 2016-2020, but it might need a new name with current timelines suggesting an earliest start date of 2018.

The federal government released the strategy in November 2015, the first document of its kind for a decade, which identified seven major goals.

It was another 15 months before a draft implementation plan to guide governments in planning, funding and implementing action was put out for “targeted consultation” to 198 stakeholders via a month-long online survey in March this year.

The contents of those 57 submissions remain confidential.

But the department of health said it has analysed them, and incorporated feedback into its latest draft implementation plan.

That draft plan has been “submitted to AHMAC processes and it is expected to be finalised by the end of 2017” a department of health spokesperson said last week, adding that the final plan will remain “committee in confidence” until its public release.

The long and drawn out process to action this strategy has sparked concerns it will amount to nought, much like previous strategies before it.

Prior to the draft strategy’s release, Monash University Professor Paul Zimmet, who co-chaired the government-appointed National Diabetes Strategy Advisory Group, said he was aware of “considerable concern within the diabetes community and organisations that the implementation will go the same way as other strategies that achieved nothing”.

However, Professor Zimmet was unable to comment to the limbic this week, while he is still in dialogue with the government over the strategy.

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