Medicare Locals call for greater support for national standards for diabetes self-management education

Medicare Locals call for greater support for national standards for diabetes self-management education

15 July 2013

The AML Alliance and Diabetes Australia are calling for both sides of politics to show a commitment toimplementing national standards and programs for diabetes self-management education and support.

During National Diabetes Week (14-20 July), AML Alliance Chair Dr Arn Sprogis said as part ofMedicare Locals commitment to keeping people well and out of hospital it was time a seriousinvestment of funds was made for diabetes self-management and community care through MedicareLocals.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in 2010, diabetes will soon become thenumber one cause of disease burden when we combine mortality (deaths) and morbidity (ongoingyears of life lived with complications).

AML Alliance agrees with Diabetes Australia that national standards and programs for diabetes self managementeducation and a national plan for diabetes workforce development are needed as anurgent priority and Medicare Locals are the change agents through which this can happen quickly, DrSprogis said.

Diabetes Australia CEO, Professor Greg Johnson said diabetes is the fastest growing chronic diseasein this nation with approximately 280 people developing diabetes every day, and the current financialcost of diabetes estimated to be over $14.6 billion.

However, Diabetes Australia also reports that up to 60% of cases of type 2 diabetes can beprevented, Prof. Johnson said.

The self-management of diabetes supported by well-coordinated and linked primary health careservices makes a major difference to the lives of 1.5 million Australians who currently have diabetesand the demands placed on acute hospital services, he said.

Dr Sprogis said Medicare Locals are putting in the valuable ground work for this country by identifyingthrough their community needs assessments the prevalence of type 2 diabetes.

By mapping out a better understanding of where the prevalence is high or low, Medicare Localstogether with relevant health services including general practices, diabetes clinics and other alliedhealth services, are now working at enabling patients to self-care as well as get access to the rightservices in a timely way, Dr Sprogis said.

By investing in better self-management programs and supports, and by stepping up the diabetesworkforce to create more multidisciplinary teams (which is fundamental to supporting the growingnumber of people with diabetes), we can better manage diabetes and prevent complications at thecommunity level and importantly closer to home for many people, Dr Sprogis said.