New diabetes service based in Bundaberg

Thursday, 16 May 2019

The Morrison Government is providing $700,000 for the Bundaberg Community Diabetes Service – a new approach to complex diabetes care that will address a significant service gap for patients living with the condition.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt welcomed today’s announcement which has been funded through the Community Hospitals and Health Program and will be commissioned by the Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN.

“More than 7000 people (6.7 percent) are registered with the National Diabetes Support Scheme in Bundaberg, which is above the state average of 4.8 percent. However it is likely there are more people with diabetes who are undiagnosed,” Mr Pitt said.

“As someone with a family history of late onset diabetes I know that this is a disease which doesn’t discriminate.

“This is not an election commitment, it is a fully funded program which has been identified as needed in this community, which will target high complexity and high-risk patients with diabetes,” Mr Pitt said.

“Our strong economic management means we can provide record investment in these initiatives, Medicare, public hospitals and medicines, delivering more doctors, more nurses and more services to people in Queensland,” said Minister for Health Greg Hunt MP.

Without dedicated diabetes services in Bundaberg, high complexity and high risk patients, who make up 20 per cent of people with diabetes, are missing out on specialist care, or having to wait too long for it. This means they are developing complications that might otherwise be prevented.

The new Community Diabetes Service will be delivered by advanced skill GPs, supported by an endocrinologist and multidisciplinary care team. Patients who would otherwise be referred to a specialist are instead referred to the Community Diabetes Service.

A diabetes educator/care coordinator will conduct a comprehensive screening assessment. This includes a review of medications, diabetic history, retinal photographs, foot assessment, depression screening and appropriate blood and urine testing.

Patients are then booked for their diabetes clinic, which is a four-hour session involving the endocrinologist, advanced skill GP and diabetes educator. A management plan is developed, appointments made with allied health services, and the GP kept closely informed of the care and management the patient is receiving. Patients are discharged back to their usual GP once targets have been achieved.

Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN CEO Pattie Hudson said that providing diabetes care in a community setting is an important step to empowering people take a more active role in managing their condition.

“By working with patients who have complex health needs, and providing them with a support network of health care providers in a community clinic setting, we can provide treatment to more people, reducing waiting lists and making specialist care more accessible.”

“The PHN is pleased to be partnering with Diabetes Queensland, the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service, GPs and allied health providers in Bundaberg to deliver this innovative service” Mrs Hudson said.

The Government is aware of the significant impact that diabetes has on people and their families and is committed to working towards the prevention of the disease in the Australian community.

We are supporting people living with diabetes on several fronts. This includes cheaper access to products that help them manage their diabetes following improvements to the National Diabetes Services Scheme.

We have expanded free access to glucose monitoring devices for pregnant women, children and more adults with type 1 diabetes, saving Australians up to $7,000 a year. Our investment over the next four years will ensure that free glucose monitoring devices are available to over 37,000 eligible
Australians with type 1 diabetes.

We will also invest $54.5 million for research that will give new hope and support for Australian children and adults living with type 1 diabetes.

All of these initiatives are part of our plan to strengthen Australia’s world class health system.

We can deliver this record investment in health without raising taxes for hard-working Queenslanders.

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