Dear Minister Ley,
I am writing to ask for funding towards Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) technology for all people living with diabetes in Australia.
I would like to ask that you consider with me, for a moment, your day. Having a quick glance at your Twitter feed, I can see that you’ve lended a hand on a sheep farm in your electorate. You’ve addressed the media at the launch of the government’s private health consultations. You’ve made public appearances at health related launch events around the country. And, at the end of a long week, you made a pit stop at your local kebab shop. There’s no doubt that you lead a busy life as our Minister for Health, serving with the best interests of the Australian public at heart.
Now, I want you to imagine leading that busy life in the public eye, with type 1 diabetes.
Imagine having to stuff your pockets and bags with a blood glucose meter, test strips, a lancing (finger pricking) device and jellybeans before you step out of the door today.
Imagine having to pull out your blood glucose meter, and prick your finger in order to check your glucose level before operating that tractor.
Imagine trying to pay attention to other people during a consultation, when in your head you’re really trying to decide whether or not you feel that your glucose level is low.
Imagine having to step aside for a moment to pull some jelly beans out of your pocket to treat a nasty low glucose level.
Imagine sitting in on a long session in parliament, knowing that you are long overdue to check your blood glucose and with no idea whether you are high or low.
Imagine that you’ve had diabetes for so long that you can no longer feel a dangerous low coming on.
Imagine going to bed with no idea of where your blood glucose levels will settle during the night.
Now, imagine your life with a Continuous Glucose Monitor. A device that allowed you to see instantaneous glucose results at a quick glance. A device that would give you greater peace of mind as you go about your day.
Imagine that life changing device cost a large chunk of your salary, and if you wanted it you would have to fund it on your own. Imagine having to make sacrifices to fund this device, or go without and place your health at risk.
These are the realities, and kinds of decisions that many people living with diabetes in Australia face each and every single day. For many, having the choice to use a Continuous Glucose Monitor in order to manage their diabetes would be life changing.
It is time that we make this technology available for all people who choose to use it.
Thank you for your time, and your consideration.
If you would like to see Continuous Glucose Monitoring technology funded by the Australian government, you can write to the Minister for Health Sussan Ley here.