Transcript of Press Conference and Doorstop
Transcript of Minister for Health, Greg Hunt's press conference and doorstop regarding free continuous glucose monitoring devices to eligible children and people under the age of 21 years with type 1 diabetes in Melbourne on 1 April 2017.
The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health
1 April 2017
Topics: free continuous glucose monitoring devices to eligible children and people under the age of 21 years with type 1 diabetes; private health insurance
Thanks very much to Judy, whom I’ve known for so long, and her work with Diabetes Australia along with Greg, and everybody who’s involved with it, it’s just incredibly valuable.
To the JDRF and Mike, over many years I’ve had the privilege of working with JDRF and yourself, and people like Susan Alberti and so many others who’ve done incredible work for young people with diabetes.
The DANII Foundation and Donna, in many ways along with others, this is your day. It is, as you’ve said, Danii’s gift of life and it’s a beautiful day, but it’s a hard day for you, and that’s ok.
And then to all of our diabetes educators and researchers, I really want to honour and thank you.
But above all else, it’s about our young people who are managing and living and thriving with type 1 diabetes.
With Rob you’ve got a model of what you want to grow up and be, mostly, and anybody who wants lessons on carpentry, Rob will be [inaudible] on that afterwards, free of charge, correct? Signing autographs.
And, you know, he’s an example of the fact that this is challenging and difficult, but you can thrive, you can live a magnificent life, and you can be just somebody that your parents and yourself can be proud of.
So I see Ellie May here, whom I’ve known for many years from within my own town of Mount Martha. We’ve got the Macphersons, you know, a family where three of you are managing and thriving with the challenges type 1 and so many others. Whether you’re here with JDRF or Diabetes Australia or the DANII Foundation.
Now, we know that we’ve got 15,000 young people in Australia who are dealing with type 1.
For many of them, continuous glucose monitoring is something for which you fought, something for which you’ve been active, and something which will help you and, if you’re a parent, will give you that peace of mind that my children can have a better future and a safer future.
My children can have a better future and a safer future. And so that’s a fight that’s been worth having.
So against that, I am delighted to announce that, as of today, the Federal Government will fund, support, and assist access to continuous glucose monitoring products for free.
That is our job, that’s our task and that’s our role. And it’s a $54 million announcement, but it’s not the money.
This is an announcement that will save lives and it will change lives because it means that if you’re young and beautiful like our kids here, you may not need to go through this process of pricking your fingers, of the pain, the inconvenience, and you have the comfort that in the middle of the night, there’s a way of protecting you.
So as of today, continuous glucose monitoring equipment will be made available. It will be about 4000 young Australian children whose lives will be changed forever. Every child, every young person who needs it, will get it. I want to honour you, I want to thank you, and I want to say that we will have a safer future going forward from today.
I’m delighted that, as of today, over 4000 Australian children and families and young Australians under 21 will have access to continuous glucose monitoring equipment.
This will save lives. It will change lives.
It will give young Australians the ability to be their best selves, and it will give parents the confidence that their children will be safe during the day and over the night.
That’s what we should be doing as a Government. A $54 million contribution. But above all else, it’s about giving these children, these young Australians under 21, the chance to be their best selves and the chance for their parents to have peace of mind.
I want to endorse the remarks of the AMA, that even though we have had the lowest increase in premiums for private health insurance in ten years, people should shop around.
Put pressure on private health insurers. As a Government, I’ve already ensured that we have commenced the process of finding ways to take further pressure off private health insurance.
Every single dollar matters to families. I want to repeat that, every single dollar matters to families, just as we’ve seen today with the diabetes support and announcement.
And I agree with the AMA, that beyond what we’re doing as a Government, people should take the opportunity to shop around and put even more pressure private health insurers to get them the best deal at the lowest possible price.
Minister, just quickly back to this announcement today of diabetes, why type 1diabetes? Why is this such an important cause?
Well, this is fundamental because overnight, children, people under 21, run the risk of their blood sugar dropping.
And there have been tragedies, as we saw with Danii, and the DANII Foundation was created to honour her loss, but to make sure that this didn’t happen to other children, so it is about saving lives and it’s about changing lives.
Thanks very much.