Work of the Australian Government on diabetes
Information about initiatives for diabetes prevention, support, research and monitoring.
Information about initiatives for diabetes prevention, support, research and monitoring.Top of page
- Preventing diabetes
- Supporting people with diabetes
- Investing in diabetes research
- Monitoring diabetes
- Australian type 2 diabetes risk assessment tool (AUSDRISK)
Preventing diabetesThe Australian Government is aware of the significant burden that diabetes has on individuals and their families and is committed to working towards the broad prevention of the disease, and its associated complications, in the Australian community.
The Government has committed $872.1 million over six years (from 2009-10) under the COAG National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health (NPAPH). This is the largest single commitment to health promotion by an Australian government.
The NPAPH seeks to address the rising prevalence of lifestyle related chronic disease by laying the foundations for healthy behaviours in the daily lives of Australians through settings such as communities, early childhood education and care environments, schools and workplaces, supported by national social marketing campaigns (Measure Up and an anti-smoking campaign).
A key element of the NPAPH involved the establishment of a new Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA). The Agency commenced operations in early 2011, with an initial focus on obesity, alcohol and tobacco use.
In addition, the Government has made an $805.5 million commitment over four years to 2012-13 for an Indigenous Chronic Disease Package as its contribution to the National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes. The Package is helping to improve the prevention, early detection and treatment of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The Government has also funded Diabetes Australia to develop and maintain the National Gestational Diabetes Register (NGDR), which went live in July 2011.
The NGDR is based on information held in the National Diabetes Services Scheme Registrant database, and aims to provide a single source of data about gestational diabetes mellitus (gestational diabetes) for health professionals, researchers and the Australian Government.
The register will also be used to inform the National Gestational Diabetes Follow Up and Recall System, where females previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes will be regularly contacted to remind them of the need for regular type 2 diabetes screening.
More information on key Australian Government initiatives and campaigns that support the prevention of chronic diseases generally, and diabetes in particular, can be found via the following links:
- National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health (NPAPH)
- Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA)
- Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes
- National Gestational Diabetes Register (NGDR)
Supporting people with diabetesIn situations where onset of the disease cannot be prevented, the Australian Government is striving to ensure that people with diabetes have access to the most effective, up to date and clinically robust means available for managing and treating their condition.
In 2004-05, diabetes accounted for 1.7% (around $907 million) of total health care expenditure in Australia1.
Support for people living with diabetes includes subsidising diabetes related medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (expected to cost around $350 million in 2011-12) and providing access to subsidised diabetes related consumables and information on diabetes management through the National Diabetes Services Scheme (expected to cost $1 billion over five years, from 2011-12). In addition, a means-tested subsidy is available to eligible young people with type1 diabetes to make insulin pumps more affordable. This program has received $5.5 million in funding over four years (from 2008-09).
July 2011 saw the commencement of the Diabetes Care Project (carrying funding of more than $31 million over three years), which is piloting a new model of healthcare delivery, designed to improve care for adults with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, will involve up to 150 general practices across Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. The project will test technology systems to enable better care coordination through enhanced information sharing, a flexible funding model that will include improvement support payments for practices, a Care Facilitator role to manage the integrated care approach and an education and training program for consumers and healthcare providers
The Australian Government also supports diabetes management by providing rebates for patients for GP and allied health services through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). The chronic disease management (CDM) Medicare items aim to improve planning and coordination of care by GPs for people with chronic medical conditions and complex care needs, and encourage a multidisciplinary approach to health care. Once a GP management plan (MBS item 721, and team care arrangements ─ MBS item 723) are in place, a GP can refer a patient for a maximum of five allied health services per calendar year, including those provided by podiatrists, physiotherapists, dietitians, diabetes educators, exercise physiologists and psychologists. The need for allied health services must be related to a patient’s chronic condition/s and be identified in their care plan/s. Patients with type 2 diabetes who have a GP management plan, can also access group services provided by Medicare eligible diabetes educators, exercise physiologists and dietitians on referral from the GP.
The Australian Primary Care Collaboratives Program supports general practices to improve clinical health outcomes and maintain the health of patients with chronic and complex conditions.
In addition, the Practice Incentives Program provides incentives to practices for providing early diagnosis and best practice management of patients with type 2 diabetes.
Through the Quality Assurance for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medical Services (QAAMS) pathology program the Australian Government is supporting the provision of culturally appropriate and clinically effective diabetes management in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The program supports better management of diabetes by enabling participating Aboriginal Medical Services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services to provide accurate diabetes-related pathology testing on site through ‘point of care testing’.
Additionally, the Australian Government provided over $300 million, in 2011-12, to improve the access of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to comprehensive primary health care services. This funding is made available through over 200 organisations, most of which are Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs), to provide services that are responsive to the needs of local communities. This may include clinical services for the treatment of acute illnesses, management of chronic conditions, emergency care and specific interventions and referral. The funding also supports population health programs such as health promotion. The services provided meet identified community priorities.
For more information, please refer to the following pages:
- National Diabetes Services Scheme
- Diabetes Care Project
- CDM Medicare items
- Allied health (individual) services under Medicare
- Allied health group services under medicare for people with type 2 diabetes
- Quality Assurance for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medical Services (QAAMS) pathology program
- Australian Primary Care Collaboratives
- Practice Incentives Program Top of page
Investing in diabetes researchThe Australian Government invests in diabetes research through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Between 2002 and 2011, the NHMRC invested more than $427 million in programs related to research into diabetes. This includes support for Special Program Grants in Type 1 Diabetes, a collaboration with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). This research scheme, jointly funded by the two organisations, provides $12 million over five years for diabetes research. Another joint initiative with the JDRF is the Diabetes Vaccine Development Centre, which involves research into developing a vaccine or preventative immunotherapy for type 1 diabetes.
Monitoring diabetesThe Australian Government funds the National Centre for Monitoring Diabetes within the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the National Diabetes Registry, an AIHW managed database that collects information about people who use insulin as part of their diabetes management.
Australian type 2 diabetes risk assessment tool (AUSDRISK)The Australian type 2 diabetes risk assessment tool (AUSDRISK) is a short list of questions to help both health professionals and consumers to assess the risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the next five years.
AUSDRISK can be completed by the patient or with the assistance of a health professional or practice nurse. Patients aged 40–49 years (inclusive), or 15-54 years (inclusive) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with a 'high' score result from the AUSDRISK tool are eligible to attend a type 2 diabetes risk evaluation by their GP. For further information, refer to the
- Interactive diabetes risk assessment tool - online risk level calculator
- Non-interactive diabetes risk assessment tool
- Australian type 2 diabetes risk assessment tool (AUSDRISK) (PDF 718 KB large file)
Page last reviewed: June 2012