Open Letter to Government


November 2022
To: Premier Andrews
Minister for Health
Minister for Education
Minister for Mental Health
Cc: All MPs

RE: Community Call for a Victorian Diabetes Plan

On behalf of the more than 374,000 Victorians living with diabetes and their families, we call upon the government to make an election commitment to develop a Victorian Diabetes Plan to prioritise support for Victorians living with diabetes.

Diabetes is an extremely serious and complex set of conditions that require daily self-care. Currently, there is no cure for any type of diabetes. All types of diabetes have long-term health implications, which can reduce both quality and length of life.

The Victorian Government knows that one in four people in Victoria’s hospitals has diabetes.

It has identified the need to reduce hospital admissions among people with diabetes. But it currently has no clear plan on how to achieve this.

We need a plan – an ambitious Victorian Diabetes Plan – focused on the urgent need to improve both the health and quality of life of all Victorians affected by, or at risk of, diabetes.
A Victorian Diabetes Plan would identify the key priorities affecting Victoria’s healthcare system and economy.

It would set goals for achieving short, medium and long-term targets. Such a plan would empower health systems, health professionals and researchers to realise and address the priorities, and aim for and meet the targets.

In the past two years, we have all been acutely aware of the COVID-19 pandemic. But we must not ignore the other pandemic: diabetes. One in five COVID-19 deaths has been among people with pre-existing diabetes. People with diabetes have been far more likely than the general population to be hospitalised, and experience very serious complications.

This request is critical because diabetes is increasing at a faster rate than any other chronic condition and remains one of the biggest challenges confronting our health system. Unlike many other similarly serious conditions, diabetes has an image problem, so it does not receive the funding or attention it deserves. Now is the time to remedy this situation.

In the lead up to World Diabetes Day on 14th November 2022, there is a timely opportunity to announce a commitment to a Victorian Diabetes Plan, as one of your government’s key election commitments for health.

We request your urgent attention to this matter. All Members of Parliament need to consider the health and well-being of all people with, or affected by, diabetes in Victoria – they represent over one million Victorians, one fifth of the electorate.

This letter is signed and supported by Victoria’s leaders in diabetes, who are deeply concerned by the lack of prioritisation of diabetes in Victoria over many years. They include specialists in endocrinology, diabetes education, primary care, public health, epidemiology, psychology, as well as philanthropy, the leaders of professional associations, and universities.

Together, we are united to support, empower and campaign for people living with, or at risk
of, diabetes.

We call on you to commit to working with us to bring to fruition a Victorian Diabetes Plan.

Yours sincerely

Glen Noonan,
Chief Executive Officer: Diabetes Victoria
Adjunct Professor: Deakin University

Click here to download the full Open Letter to Government:
Community Call for a Victorian Diabetes Plan



2022 State Election Priorities 
 

By 2026, over 500,000 Victorians will be diagnosed with diabetes. With support and resources, diabetes can be well managed, and people affected by diabetes can live long, healthy and happy lives.

In recent years, we have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. But it is not the only pandemic facing Victoria. 

One decade ago, Diabetes Australia published a report titled Diabetes: the silent pandemic and its impact on Australia. Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Victoria. Diabetes is increasing at a faster rate than other chronic conditions, such as cancer and heart disease. Diabetes remains one of the biggest challenges confronting our health system. 

Diabetes is a serious and complex condition, which requires daily self-care. There is no cure. The acute and long-term complications of diabetes can reduce both quality and length of life. However, with appropriate support and resources and an emphasis on value-based healthcare, people with diabetes can live long, healthy and happy lives. These are testing times! 


The COVID-19 pandemic, bushfires and floods have been particularly significant for people with diabetes. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, one in four people in hospital had diabetes. In the past two years, people with diabetes have been more likely than the general population to be hospitalised and experience serious complications if they have COVID-19. One in five COVID-19 deaths have been among people with pre-existing diabetes. 

The Victorian Government has identified the need to reduce hospital admissions among people with diabetes, but currently has no clear plan on how to achieve this. We need a plan – an ambitious Victorian Diabetes Plan, focused on the urgent need to improve both the health and quality of life of all Victorians affected by, or at risk of, diabetes, and to reduce hospital admissions. 

Diabetes Victoria is calling on the next Victorian Government to recognise and collaborate on five key priorities to support all Victorians affected by, or at risk of, diabetes. These priorities are based on the lived experiences of over 374,000 people across Victoria who are currently living with diabetes. Add in their families, and we estimate over 1 million Victorians are directly impacted by diabetes every day. 

We welcome the opportunity to work with the next Victorian Government on innovations to reduce the burden of diabetes in the Victorian community and on our health system.

Glen Noonan, CEO
Diabetes Victoria
 

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Summary of Five 2022 Election Priorities

Priority 1

Innovation in Diabetes Care

Action 1.1

Improve diabetes care for all Victorians affected by diabetes: Collaborate with Diabetes
Victoria and other key stakeholders to develop a ‘Victorian Diabetes Plan’ to improve health
outcomes and reduce the impacts of diabetes in Victoria.

Action 1.2

Accelerate the translation of research into real-world treatments and approaches that
improve diabetes care: Match Diabetes Victoria’s investment in diabetes research of $2
million per year over the next four years.

Priority 2

Diabetes and Mental Health

Action 2.1

Support the mental health of Victorians living with diabetes: Invest $2.5 million to enable
Diabetes Victoria to provide diabetes-specific mental health and peer support for Victorians
living with diabetes, including camps for children with type 1 diabetes.

Action 2.2

Embed psychologists in diabetes specialist teams, to enable truly holistic and collaborative
care: Invest $2 million in an implementation trial to examine the impact of psychologists as
part of the multidisciplinary diabetes care team.

Priority 3

Diabetes in Hospitals

Action 3.1

Improve the safety of people with diabetes in Victoria’s hospitals by improving glucose
management and triage of acute events: Invest $1.2 million in an implementation trial, in
three hospitals, to establish a ‘real-time diabetes dashboard’ supported by a specialist
diabetes team, to provide timely, evidence-based best practice care for people with
diabetes.

Action 3.2

Monitor the safety and experiences of inpatients with diabetes: Invest $500k to initiate a statewide audit of hospital inpatient care for people with diabetes, linked to quality improvement.

Priority 4

Diabetes and Equity

Action 4.1

Ensure all children with diabetes have equitable access to education and related opportunities: Ensure no child is turned away from a government school due to their diabetes; provide special supports for students with diabetes on school camps and during exams.

Action 4.2

Reduce diabetes stigma and discrimination in Victoria’s workplaces: Invest $4 million over four years to produce, disseminate and evaluate tailored communications to ensure people with diabetes are protected wherever they work.

Priority 5

Prevention and Remission of Type 2 Diabetes

Action 5.1

Increase the health of the general population to reduce exposure of known modifiable risks
for type 2 diabetes: Remove all unhealthy food and drink advertising from public transport
and across all Victorian government owned assets.

Action 5.2

Increase the support for people at risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease: Invest
$1 million to strengthen referral pathways between Local Public Health Units and the Life!
program; and invest $2 million in research on the prevention of type 2 diabetes, with a focus
on reducing health inequities among men, women peri/post menopause and people who
are LGBTIQA+.

Action 5.3

Optimise type 2 diabetes care from diagnosis: Invest $5 million in a regional implementation
trial to put type 2 diabetes into remission.

Click here to read the full
Diabetes. Testing Times. Election Priorities 2022


Take Action

Contact your local MP

Email your local MP asking if they are committing to Victorians with diabetes and the Diabetes Victoria’s election priorities 2022.

For the full list of local member and their contact details click here
 
If you need some guidance, you can refer to the following email template;

Dear <insert name of local member>, 

I am writing to ask you to act on behalf of the 374,000 Victorians with diabetes. 

Please commit to Victorians with diabetes and the Diabetes Victoria’s election priorities 2022 – in particular, to develop a ‘Victorian Diabetes Plan’ to improve health outcomes and reduce the impacts of diabetes in Victoria.

Also, I would ask you consider the other key priorities as people living with diabetes should receive appropriate support and resources, with an emphasis on value-based healthcare, people with diabetes can live long, healthy and happy lives. 

I look forward to your response to my email. 

Thanks, 
<insert your name>



Share  

Share the Diabetes Victoria Election Priorities 2022 with family, friends, local news channels and the public to raise awareness and ask them to write to their local member. 

If you are living or caring for someone with diabetes share why the priorities are important for people living with diabetes on your social media using the hashtag #DiabetesTestingTimes. 

Feel free to share any social media posts by Diabetes Victoria and the social media tiles below (click to save) to support people living with diabetes.
 


To read the media release click here
 

Media Contacts

This page was last updated on 22/09/2022