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Barnett hails Budget relief for insulin pump user.

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Guy Barnett Liberal Senator for Tasmania

Barnett Hails Budget Relief For Insulin Pump User

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Senator Guy Barnett today thanked Diabetes Australia and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for their support of the Australian Government decision to make the use of insulin pumps more affordable for people with type I or juvenile diabetes.

“The lobbying of these organisations and their members has demonstrated the benefits of this Government initiative. I have type I diabetes and use an insulin pump but while as a politician I can afford the costs, I know there are many users who struggle with the costs, so this is great news for them, especially given that type1 diabetes is not a lifestyle disease,” Senator Barnett said.

Pump users’ ongoing out-of-pocket expense for consumables is about $200-$300 each month, or around $3,000 a year. The Australian Government’s decision will now reduce these costs to less than $280 per year, at a cost to the Government of $15 million over four years.

The use of a pump evens out the blood glucose ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ to within a more desirable and manageable range. This Government initiative will be of particular benefit to children and pregnant women.

The Government has acknowledged the overall financial burden carried by people with diabetes. Beyond the obvious physical and emotional strain put on people with diabetes, in financial terms the disease is an expensive one to manage, both by the individual concerned and the taxpayer at large. The national cost each year is over $6b.

There are currently around 118,000 Australians with Type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes.