Subsidise continuous glucose monitoring for people with diabetes

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Type 1 diabetes is a chronic, life threatening, autoimmune condition. The photo above is me heading to ‘diabetes camp’, aged 10. It was a blast, I tell you.

I was diagnosed aged 8. I became very sick over a period of a year, lost a lot of weight then went into a coma for 3 days. This didn’t happen because I ate badly or didn’t exercise; my family were very healthy and so was I, until my body started attacking itself.

When I awoke, I was trained to test my blood sugars, count carbs and inject insulin 4+ times daily. I’ve been doing this ever since.

Type 1 diabetes rewards good care. With focused attention on monitoring my blood glucose, ongoing insulin injections and general good ole healthy living I will have a long and productive life. Severe hyperglycaemia (causing hospitalisation) or hypoglycaemia (causing coma and death) can be negated! Long term negative effects of high blood sugars (damage to eyesight, kidneys etc etc) can be eradicated! New technologies make this SO MUCH easier, at the long term benefit to the taxpayer (hey that’s me too!).

This is where the Libre comes in. The Libre is a ‘flash glucose monitor’. It has a sensor that sits below the skin and receives data about my blood glucose every minute. It transmits to my phone and gives me incredible information about how my insulin and other aspects of my life are affecting my BGL. It’s amazing! I’ve been on it for two weeks and am already adjusting my insulin to my health benefit.

Currently the sensors are expensive. $100 a fortnight expensive! Add that to the cost of other diabetes supplies and you have healthcare that many just can’t afford.

The government has seen fit to make the system free for children and women with gestational diabetes but people like me have to pay full price, which is strange because I was a child with type 1 diabetes once too...and the condition hasn’t changed.

I (with my diabetes team at my local hospital, and the 120,000+ people living with type 1 diabetes) would like to see a fair subsidy apply to the Libre sensors, as it is with blood test strips. The Libre system is a replacement for blood test strips and will assist those living with type 1 diabetes to achieve a greater quality of life at benefit to our health system.

I am happy to answer questions about type 1 diabetes.

This petition will be sent to my Federal member for Brand, Madeleine King MP; Minister for Health, Greg Hunt MP and Shadow Minister for Health, Catherine King.

More info about the Libre: