Media Release

21 November 2018

Wooldridge: Australian first for pregnant mums with diabetes

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Australian first for pregnant mums with diabetes

People with diabetes live in fear of a hypoglycemic event with complications that can range from seizures to loss of consciousness. If a severe event is not managed appropriately it can result in coma or even death.

In an Australian first, a Liberal Nationals Government will ensure pregnant women living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes have access to a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) while they are pregnant, reducing complications and improving outcomes for the mother and baby during this critical time.

CGM alerts users to rising or falling blood glucose levels allowing them to take action to reduce fluctuations. Research has found that women with diabetes who use CGM during their pregnancy have improved outcomes with babies who have a longer gestation, are less likely to be large for age, have fewer Neonatal Intensive Care Unit admissions and a shortened hospital stay.

We will also support women to continue using CGM for a further 6 months during breast feeding and undertake a world first evaluation of the impact for mothers and their babies.

The Liberal Nationals will also increase the age limit for eligible young people, with Type 1 diabetes to access funded insulin pumps from 18 to 21.

Insulin pumps mimic the way a healthy pancreas functions and replaces the need for frequent injections by delivering precise doses of insulin 24 hours a day to closely match a person’s needs.

Importantly, a consistent dose of insulin reduces the risk of complications from extreme highs and lows in their blood sugar, allowing young people with diabetes to live more normal lives and give their parents the peace of mind knowing that their child has a consistent insulin dose at all times.

This $5.9 million policy will significantly improve the lives of women, young people and their families by providing the devices to actively manage the health risks associated with living with diabetes.

The Insulin Pump program will be administered by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, building on their effective management of the existing Federal scheme.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Health, Mary Wooldridge:

“This is a really simple way to make big difference in the lives of mothers, babies and young people.

This policy will help reduce the fear that thousands of Victorians with diabetes live with every day about the potentially dramatic consequences of their disease.

People will have more control of their disease and their lives, knowing that their diabetes is being monitored and managed effectively.”