CHILDREN and people under the age of 21 years with type 1 diabetes can now access free continuous glucose monitoring devices, according to Pearce MHR Christian Porter.
Mr Porter said the new lifesaving technology would reduce the hassle of the daily finger-prick for people with diabetes.
“This will be life-changing for children, young people and their families,” he said.
“It will also provide much needed support for the difficult challenge of managing blood glucose levels, particularly in identifying symptoms of hypoglycaemia.
“Eligible young Australians will now be able to access these devices for free through the national diabetes services scheme – saving around $4000 a year.
“The $54 million initiative will help families and children to better self-manage their diabetes, reducing visits to emergency departments and missed school days.”
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that attacks a person’s ability to produce insulin.
Children and young people with the disease have to monitor their glucose levels around the clock.
Mr Porter said while the finger-prick method was effective and accurate, it can be quite a difficult and upsetting process for some children and their parents, with up to 10 tests needed every day – including several times every night.
“For some families it may require waking a child in the middle of the night or interrupting them during the day at school.
“In contrast, continuous glucose monitors will alert users or their parents if glucose levels are getting too low without the need for continuous finger prick tests.
“This helps to reduce stress and anxiety for everyone involved.’’
To access continuous glucose monitors products children and young adults will need to consult with an authorised health professional, who will assess the patient’s suitability against specific eligibility criteria, as part of an overall management plan for diabetes.
Eligibility assessment forms are available to download at www.ndss.com.au