Having spoken at length with parents and children across the Wimmera, Mallee and Mildura regions living with Type 1 diabetes, I’m very aware of the lifelong challenges this disease presents and over the last three years I’ve strongly advocated on their behalf, to see Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) devices made accessible to young people, under the age of 21, living with diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is an incurable disease and develops for no known reason, impacting on all aspects of a person’s health and life. Monitoring the blood sugar levels of diabetics is crucial in preventing further health complications and is particularly important for children, who are often unable to feel their levels dropping until it is too late.
Parents have explained to me how challenging monitoring becomes as their children grow up, when they begin playing sport; get invited to ‘sleepovers’; want to attend school camp and all the other things that most children take for granted. These challenges can be greatly reduced by CGM devices, which are the simplest and kindest way to check on glucose levels 24 hours per day.
The announcement by the Minister for Health, the Hon Sussan Ley, that the Coalition Government will invest $54 million to subsidise CGM technology for young people, is very welcome. The subsidy, which will save the average family about $4000 a year, will change and possibly save, many young lives, whist reducing the financial burden that families face in obtaining the CGM device.
I believe this is a great step forward in assisting parents and young people in managing their lives and promises them the best overall health outcomes long term.
Andrew Broad MP
Member for Mallee.