All Australians with Type 1 Diabetes should receive a Health Care Card for LIFE
- Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.
Under existing Commonwealth legislation the vast majority of Australians with Type 1 Diabetes from the age of 16 years do not qualify for a Health Care Card.
The cost of essential, life-sustaining insulin is prohibitive without the Health Care Card.
At present, many families with teenage Type 1 Diabetics struggle to provide the medication needed to keep their children alive once they turn 16 and no longer qualify under "Child" legislation.
A person with Type 1 Diabetes cannot live without daily injections of insulin or continuous infusion of insulin via an insulin pump.
Insufficient insulin results in devastating short and long-term complications. For teenagers and young adults studying at High School, TAFE or University, insufficient insulin and high blood glucose levels dramatically affects their levels of concentration and will result in poor academic performance and reduced employment opportunities.
Prohibitive costs of insulin results in patients using less insulin than their recommended doses which can lead to repeated episodes of Diabetic Ketoacidosis which are potentially fatal.
Put simply, the lack of access to a Health Care Card can dramatically impact upon the quality of life for any Australian living with Type 1 Diabetes.
The cost of medication essential for sustaining life is prohibitive to any person with Type 1 Diabetes without a Health Care Card.
Without a Health Care Card there is the substantial risk that a person with Type 1 Diabetes will not administer the full dose of insulin required to maintain optimal blood glucose levels in an attempt to save money on medications.
The result of sub-optimal blood glucose levels is a dramatically increased risk and very high likelihood of severe and life threatening complications associated with Type 1 Diabetes.
The long-term cost to the Australian Health Care System due to hospitalisation and extensive treatment for the complications of Type 1 Diabetes far outweighs the cost of providing a Health Care Card to all Type 1 Diabetics.
Further, with the substantial burden of exorbitant costs for essential life sustaining medications lifted Australians with Type 1 Diabetes have a greater capacity of contributing to their communities and living healthy and productive lives with the potential of benefiting Australian society with their determination and resilience given their considerable experience with taking extraordinary measures, every single day, just to stay alive.