More children will finally have access to a Type 1 Diabetes Insulin Pump - Dutton

The Federal Minister for Health, the Hon Peter Dutton, has announced funding to help children with Type 1 Diabetes gain access to an insulin pump to help them manage their disease.

Page last updated: 20 October 2013

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20 October 2013

The federal Minister for Health, the Hon Peter Dutton, today announced funding to help children with Type 1 Diabetes gain access to an insulin pump to help them manage their disease.

“Although the former Labor government announced, in a blaze of publicity, funding to subsidise more insulin pumps for these children, it has taken the Coalition government to find the money," Mr Dutton said.

Speaking at the launch of the Walk to Cure Diabetes, the biggest national fundraising event of the year for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Mr Dutton said the new total funding allocation of $1.4 million will provide insulin pump subsidies for an additional 136 children under the Type 1 Diabetes Insulin Pump Programme. In addition to the 68 pumps already available under the Programme, this will now benefit over 200 children and their families over the next year.

"Unfortunately for the children who urgently needed this subsidy, Labor could not deliver on its promise - for around nine months children have been deprived of this financial assistance, but as soon as I became minister, I met with the JDRF and within 10 days the government made the money available.

"I know that parents were upset at the delay under Labor and I wanted it sorted. It will at least be one less worry for families under enormous pressure."

Mr Dutton said insulin pumps can range in cost from $4,500 to $9,500 which can offer a huge impost to families with young children who otherwise would be unable to afford this therapy.

"The programme, which will continue to be administered by the JDRF, covers up to 80 per cent of the costs of insulin pumps which can greatly assist in making this therapy affordable for young families in Australia.

"Having access to these small devices, which deliver a continuous level of insulin throughout the day, offers improved lifestyle and quality of life benefits for children and their families. It also means that these children will avoid up to seven injections or more each day, which is painful and makes life so much harder for children already debilitated by the disease."

"Before the election the Coalition identified the prevention, management and research into diabetes as a priority health area pledging a better coordinated approach to tackling the more preventable Type 2 Diabetes and ensuring that all diabetes services funded by the various tiers of government and the non-government sector had clear targets and were meeting their aims," Mr Dutton said.

"The federal government is committed to the development of a new National Diabetes Strategy and we are also evaluating ways to meet our pre-election commitment to provide funding to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for much needed research to help find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.

"Participation in the Queensland Walk to Cure Diabetes today and, in similar walks planned around the country, will not only raise money for research but will assist in public awareness about the need to tackle all forms of diabetes which affects around 3.6 million Australians," Mr Dutton said.

Media contact: Kay McNiece, Minister Dutton’s Office, 0412 132585

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