National Diabetes Services Scheme
National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS)
Information relating to the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS)
Through the NDSS the Australian Government and Diabetes Australia work together to enhance the capacity of over one million Australians with type 1, type 2, gestational and other diabetes to understand and manage their life with diabetes. The NDSS aims to ensure people have timely, reliable and affordable access to the supplies and services they require to effectively self-manage their diabetes.
Australian Government expenditure
To do this Diabetes Australia appoints state and territory diabetes organisations as Agents to manage the delivery of services and products in each state and territory.
In turn, Agents appoint Access Points (previously know as Sub-Agents) that supply products to Registrants of the Scheme. There are currently over 4,050 Access Points across Australia, the majority of which are pharmacies. A full list of NDSS Agents and Access Points can be found on the NDSS website.
RegistrantsTo register with the NDSS, applicants must be diagnosed with diabetes and hold or be eligible to hold a Medicare card and live in Australia. Sometimes visitors to Australia may be eligible through a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with their home country.
The PBS also funds a number of products for persons with diabetes, primarily diagnostic agents and insulin. Australian Government expenditure on these supplies through the PBS in 2011/12 was $436 million.
2011-16 AgreementOn 30 June 2011, a new five year Agreement was signed between the Commonwealth and Diabetes Australia. The Agreement, which commenced on 1 July 2011, is expected to cost $1 billion over five years.
In developing the 2011-16 Agreement, 38 Scheme stakeholders including state and territory diabetes organisations, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Australia Diabetes Educators Association, the Australia Diabetes Society and manufacturers of diabetes products, were consulted. The 2011-16 Agreement was enhanced based on this feedback.
More than one million Australians will benefit from improved services and information as part of the new five year Agreement, with particular emphasis being placed on increasing access for those newly diagnosed, children and their families, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and disadvantaged communities.
ProductsUnder the 2011-16 Agreement, the NDSS will continue to subsidise the cost of syringes and needles, blood glucose test strips, urine ketone test strips and insulin pump consumables. A detailed list of products available through the NDSS can be found on the NDSS website.
Annually, about 4,860,000 products are provided to NDSS Registrants, through Diabetes Australia’s Agents offices, by mail order and through accredited Access Points, such as pharmacies and hospital clinics.
On average over 60% of Registrants access products to assist in the self-management of their diabetes each year.
Registrant Support ServicesUnder the 2011-16 Agreement, Diabetes Australia has committed to provide nationally consistent services to Registrants to maximise their capacity to self manage their diabetes.
Registrant Support Services provide access to information, advice on and response to requests from Registrants for information on the appropriate use of products and general information on the self-management of diabetes.
Registrant Support Services include:
- registration cards and Scheme starter packs;
- ongoing self-management information packs and national information sheets that include guidance on issues such as diet, exercise and mental health;
- a telephone helpline (1300 136 588) to provide Registrants with one on one support on product ordering, general information and health professional referrals;
- a national website which provides advice and information on the NDSS and how to obtain products and services; and
- other resources and activities developed through the National Development Programs and targeted for specific needs, such as the newly diagnosed, children and families, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
National Development ProgramsUnder the 2011-16 Agreement, Diabetes Australia is undertaking projects and activities to increase support for all eligible people with diabetes.
In 2011-12, to identify future projects through the life of the Agreement, a strategic planning process was undertaken, including stakeholder consultation.
A range of projects have been developed with key focus being placed on:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
- young people with diabetes;
- people with diabetes from culturally and linguistically diverse communities;
- older people with diabetes with a particular focus on potential for improved access for aged care facilities;
- psychosocial and mental health impacts of living with and managing diabetes for all Registrants;
- diabetes in pregnancy; and
- e-health and coordinated care.
ReviewsDiabetes Australia is undertaking several reviews to ensure the Scheme continues to be administered efficiently and effectively.
The reviews identified include:
- a review of the product supply and delivery arrangements, with a view to seeking efficiencies in this aspect of the Scheme;
- a review of the product Schedule, to determine the currency and appropriateness of the Products being supplied through the Scheme; and
- a review of Registrant Support Services, to ensure ongoing relevance, identify improvement opportunities and consistently deliver services across Australia.
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