$7.5 million Queensland diabetes action plan to roll

According to the latest $7.5 million diabetes action plan, nearly 8,000 people across the Ipswich region who are living with the disease and have not been diagnosed will be helped. Diabetes is growing at a shocking rate with more than 50 Queenslanders diagnosed with the condition every day. Diabetes Australia Queensland says more than 8,000 people in the Ipswich and West Moreton region have been diagnosed with diabetes. Another 8,000 people have the condition but remain undiagnosed.

This new plan from the state government will include free diabetes tests at pharmacies, a gestational diabetes recall system and extra training for general practitioners. Diabetes Australia Queensland CEO Michelle Trute said that diabetes was the fastest-growing chronic disease in Australia. She said, “It can take seven years for the symptoms to become obvious, and during that time, diabetes is doing irreparable damage…For every person who is diagnosed with diabetes, there is another person who has the disease without knowing it…The pharmacy screening program will encourage people to assess their own personal risk.”

According to diet expert and exercise physiologist Rebecca Downes, who worked with the Ipswich Diabetes Support Group earlier this year, this is welcome news. She said, “I think the initiative will help to raise awareness of diabetes and may prompt people to discuss further testing with their doctor…By identifying and treating the condition early, the risk of complications can be reduced.”

The far north Queensland town of Innisfail will play a big part in the State Government’s new action plan. Innisfail, south of Cairns will house the pilot program that aims to prevent type 2 diabetes for those considered to be at risk from the disease, including the overweight and those with a poor diet and lacking physical fitness.

Premier Anna Bligh says there is expected to be a 17 per cent increase in type two diabetes within the next six years. She says the Innisfail pilot program is based on a Finnish project and will team at-risk people with experts.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

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