Hillville farmer Michael Pratt is one of more than 70,000 Australians with type 1 diabetes to benefit from the announcement made by the Coalition and Opposition, that Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) technology will be subsidised from July 1, 2022.
Michael will be a beneficiary of the subsidy.
"I am delighted to hear that the government has announced that CGM will be subsidised. I'm also delighted to hear that the opposition will, if they're elected, do it as well," he said.
"It means extra dollars in my pocket. And it means that I can continue to use CGM and manage my diabetes a lot better than what I was before.
"I would just like to say to my local member, Dr David Gillespie, thank you for listening to me, and thank you for understanding the issue that I raised with you about this subsidy. I do appreciate you going into bat for this subsidy and taking it up with Greg Hunt. I'm very happy that the government has made this decision."
Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong and incurable condition which can cause complications such as blindness, kidney damage, cardiovascular disease, and amputations if not managed optimally.
To best manage their condition, people living with diabetes must check their blood glucose levels regularly throughout the day. This can either be done with the traditional finger-prick method where people draw blood from their fingertips, a sometimes painful and intrusive method, or with advanced CGM technology.
For people like Mr Pratt who work on the land, finger-pricking can present challenges with hand hygiene and the physical aspect of the job having an unpredictable impact on glucose levels.
The FreeStyle Libre 2 CGM system he uses allows him to check his glucose levels by hovering his smartphone over a sensor on the back of his arm. The device also features optional and customisable alarms, which warn users of critical high and low glucose levels.
"With CGM, as a farmer, now I can keep my blood glucose levels much more consistent," he said..
"I set the alarm at a night-time setting, and I have a different daytime setting, and the alarms tell me when I've got a problem, otherwise I don't have to worry about it.
"(The device) will tell me when I'm low or when I'm high. It will tell me when I need to eat or when I need to come inside and have insulin.
"And having that working in the background just takes a load off my mind, and it takes a load off my wife's mind as well."
From July 1, 2022, CGM sensors will cost newly eligible people with type 1 diabetes $32.50 monthly, rather than upwards of $200.
Previously, only people with type 1 diabetes under the age of 21, people with valid concessional status, and women who are pregnant or trying for a baby were eligible for subsidised CGM.
There are 43,100 people living with type 1 diabetes in New South Wales, and 128,000 people Australia-wide.
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