Earlier this week, a new study was published with some very interesting and significant findings. The study by Professor Tim Jones and his team from the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children in WA highlights the health benefits of insulin pump therapy over multiple daily injections (MDI).
I have written on many occasions about the need for better access to technology for people living with diabetes. While I acknowledge that a pump is not for everyone, I firmly believe that any person living with type 1 diabetes should have access to this therapy if that is what they choose. Diabetes may not be a one-size-fits all scenario, but everyone should be able to have a go at trying on everything available.
Diabetes Australia’s proposed National Diabetes Strategy calls for an “expanded and targeted government supported national insulin pump program across all ages and including education/support services for pump commencement and periodic review”.
In a media release issued by Diabetes Australia today, Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson says: “We need to ensure access to treatments and technologies to support prevention of complications and the burden of diabetes”.
When compared with health systems across the world, we as Australians have a lot for which we can be grateful.
But I will continue to say that when it comes to diabetes technology, we need to step up. We are lagging behind considerably when it comes to use of pumps. In the US, 40 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes are using an insulin pump. Here, we’re sitting at about 10 per cent.
With studies such as the one released on Monday showing such significant benefits of pump therapy it’s time to start to get serious about how people with diabetes use and access technology.
We need a National Diabetes Strategy where education and access to technology is considered.
The time is now.
For more information on insulin pump therapy, visit the Diabetes Australia – Vic website.
Renza Scibilia is the Manager of Type 1 Diabetes and Community Programs at DA–Vic. She has lived with type 1 diabetes since 1998. The opinions and thoughts expressed in her occasional blogs are her own.