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Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Page: 1411

Diabetes


Mr WILLIAMS (Hindmarsh) (14:53): My question is to the Minister for Health. What has the government done to provide support for families of children suffering from type 1 juvenile diabetes? What impediments have been preventing the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation from continuing with the Type 1 Diabetes Insulin Pump Program in 2013-14?


Mr DUTTON (DicksonMinister for Health and Minister for Sport) (14:53): I thank the member for Hindmarsh, a great local member. I did a health forum in his electorate just before the election. He showed a great deal of empathy for people who do it tough with their diseases. He provided a way forward for a lot of people. I think he did an excellent job.

There is a lot for us to argue about in this place, but one of the issues about which I thought there would be no disagreement between the government and the opposition is type 1 diabetes. The previous government announced earlier this year that they were going to provide funding for children who require insulin pumps, children who are suffering the most insidious disease, type 1 diabetes. The former health minister promised that they would be taken care of and provided with funding. After we won the election on 7 September, I thought there would be a lot for us to do in the Health portfolio and I thought the one issue which would have been settled was insulin pumps for those children. I was absolutely amazed and, frankly, disgusted to find that promises had been made to children and to their families earlier this year but a contract had not been signed, that uncertainty had been delivered on those families for all of those months.

Within five weeks I signed a contract with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to provide certainty for families. I was absolutely disgusted that the former minister held out hope to families, yet for months and months was not able to put a deal to bed to provide certainty for the families. And it did not stop there, I am sorry to say. The previous government promised money for GP superclinics, which never opened.

Mr Dreyfus interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Isaacs is warned!

Mr DUTTON: They promised money for programs which never delivered patient outcomes. They promised money to causes and never delivered anything to patients but delivered great big bonuses to union bosses.

Ms King: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order—direct relevance. The minister was asked a specific question about insulin pumps; he was not asked about anything broader than that. Perhaps he could tell the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation when he is going to give them their $35 million. Where is their contract?

The SPEAKER: The point of order is complete. This is not a debate. The minister is referring his remarks to the question of insulin and type 1 diabetes.

Mr DUTTON: Exactly, right, Madam Speaker. I thank very much the shadow minister for her intervention. She mentions the $35 million that the coalition promised before the election but that Labor never promised. We will deliver that money. Why? Because we want to provide an outcome to those families. We did it in the first instance by providing money for the diabetes pumps, when Labor promised but never delivered. We promised $35 million because we are absolutely determined to have those clinical trials operating, to make sure that we can work towards a cure for those families who are suffering from type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes has an impact not just on the patient but on the entire family.

Labor promises a lot but never delivers anything. They build up those great big new bureaucracies. We are taking money from them and putting it into clinical trials to make sure that we can get an outcome for Australian families.