Work towards a National Diabetes Strategy welcome

Work towards a National Diabetes Strategy welcome

03 December 2013

The AML Alliance has welcomed the Federal Governments commitment to a National Diabetes Strategy and will be keen to offer up a compelling argument for a commitment to implementing national standards and programs for diabetes self-management education and support.

AML Alliance Chair Dr Arn Sprogis said already Medicare Locals are putting in the valuable ground work by identifying through their community needs assessments the prevalence of diabetes.

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

Its this work that will make the difference about tailoring and targeting the current spending in this area to ensure that the right programs are being delivered to the right people at the right time, he said.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare approximately 13% of potentially avoidable hospitalisations are due to diabetes complications, and in 2010 the AIHW reported that diabetes will soon become the number one disease burden when we combine mortality (deaths) and morbidity (ongoing years of life lived with complications).

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

Examples of the types of primary health care services for diabetes being implemented already through Medicare Locals include:
  • Central QLD ML has initiated a partnership with the Mt Morgan Hospital to deliver diabetes education
  • Inner North West Melbourne ML is working with general practices to deliver a randomised controlled trial to increase insulin initiation for people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
  • In addition to providing multidisciplinary diabetes education services, Perth North Metro ML has developed an innovative online service directory that allows local people to easily locate GPs, dietitians, pharmacists and other health workers who provide diabetes services close to their home.
  • Darling Downs South West QLD MLs Health Services Centre offers services including diabetes education, chronic disease management, transport services and assistance with prescription collection for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
  • Hume ML funds diabetes educators, podiatrists and dietetic services in rural and remote areas with a focus on diabetes management
  • Perth South Coastal ML has established an office in the rural town of Pinjarra, supporting local general practice and offering new multi-disciplinary services including diabetes education, access to a dietician, mental health services and generalist counselling.
  • New England ML diabetes educators conduct regular health checks to identify people who might of high risk and teach them to moderate their lifestyles appropriately.
  • 38 practices and more than 1500 patients across the Gold Coast and Ipswich region are involved in the Diabetes Care Project - administered through Gold Coast ML, to test new ways to provide more flexible and better coordinated care for people with diabetes. The Gold Health and Wellbeing Council (GCML, Gold Coast Health, City of Gold Coast, Gold Coast Medical Association and the Department of Communities) have also committed to develop a citywide response through a diabetes prevention program based on the successful Victorian Life Program.
  • Greater Metro South Brisbane ML has a strong working relationship with its local Hospital and Health Service, Metro South Health. The two organisations are committed to working together on primary care and secondary integration and chronic disease strategies and implementation. Great results are already being achieved in Diabetes and Endoscopy waiting list reduction and streamlined admission processes.
  • Perth Central & East ML runs the Metropolitan Healthy Lifestyle (MHL) program targeting people with Type 2 Diabetes. Individual assessments are conducted and participants are referred to relevant lifestyle programs. MHL has expanded to include hard reaching populations including people with severe and persistent mental health problems and Aboriginal people. In the last financial year GPs referred 127 patients into MHL from 51 different practices.
  • Western Sydney ML has established the Western Sydney Diabetes Prevention and Management Steering Committee which includes representatives from the Local Hospital District, GPs, allied health, consumer and other multi-sector partners, responsible for integrating and streamlining diabetes services across the region. Calls on the public, private and non-government sectors to work collaboratively on achieving better health outcomes for the Western Sydney region.
  • Tasmania MLs diabetes nurse educators and allied health professionals help people with Type 2 diabetes manage their condition. TML works with Diabetes Tasmania to deliver services in some areas as well as education and resources for patients and health professionals
  • Illawarra-Shoalhaven ML runs Koori mens health days to encourage these members of the community to be aware of their health status and how to improve it. Testing is offered for blood glucose, urine and blood pressure, waist measure for diabetic risk, nutrition, drug and alcohol advice and resources, smoking risk, and emotional wellbeing support.
  • Townsville-Mackay ML is investing in preventative health programs such as headspace and ATAPS, the In Home Diabetes Management Trial, New Directions Bubbas Business and Closing the Gap
  • Sydney North Shore and Beaches ML - The Champion Practice Program - Chronic Disease Management program is a quality improvement program that allows general practices to focus on improvement of services for patients diagnosed with diabetes, CVD and/or COPD. The process includes self-assessment, planning and implementing improvements.