The Type 1 Diabetes Opinion Leaders Group was formed in 2008 to develop a Statement of Issues affecting Australians with Type 1 Diabetes, and stimulate discussion about solutions to the issues.
Health professional bodies, non‐government organisations, industry groups and consumer groups were represented alongside people with Type 1 Diabetes and parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes. Representatives of other key groups were also included: private endocrinology, psychology and counselling, adolescent diabetes services, tertiary hospitals, regional services, health promotion, general practice, pregnant women and rural families.
Public submissions were sought with 78 received from both health professionals and people affected by Type 1 Diabetes. An open nomination process was used to identify the consumer representatives with more than 50 applications received.
The statement identified ten key issues requiring urgent attention:
- Access to specialist medical care is very limited, especially in rural and remote area
- Complexity of Type 1 Diabetes is not well understood nor managed
- Coping with long-term complications of Type 1 Diabetes is left to the individualwith minimal resources
- Hospital admissions, planned and emergency, are poorly managed when a diabetes team is not involved
- System for the essential long-term monitoring of Type 1 Diabetes is inefficient and highly ineffective
- Adolescence and young adulthood is a critical stage with the worst outcomes
- Access to the best treatments and medical technologies is dependent onability to pay, not medical need
- Training schools about the basic needs of children with Type 1 Diabetes occurs haphazardly
- Peer learning opportunities are essential but very limited and difficult to access
- Leadership and advocacy for Type 1 Diabetes needs to be strengthened urgently.