Advocating for Equitable Access to Diabetes Technology: A Call for CGM Access for All

Lauren Cusack

As the Health Promotion & Communications Manager at PDC Health Hub by Perth Diabetes Care, and someone living with type 1 diabetes (T1D), I am continually inspired by the resilience and advocacy of the T1D community. Time and again, we come together to raise our voices, pushing for better access to technology that can significantly improve our health outcomes. It's heartening to witness this collective effort aimed at making a tangible difference in our lives and of those also in the "type 1 club".

One such technology that has revolutionised diabetes management for many of us living with T1D is Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM). I can personally attest to the incredible impact CGM has had on my life. It's not just a tool; it's a lifeline. CGM provides real-time data about my blood glucose levels, helping me make informed decisions about insulin dosing, diet, exercise and life in general. It's like having a vigilant guardian angel, constantly watching over my health and safety at all times, and alerting me to potential highs and lows.

But here's where the fairytale ends: while individuals with T1D can access subsidised CGM through various schemes, the same level of access is not extended to those living with type 2 diabetes (T2D). And this is where the issue of equity arises.

Imagine if you were a person with T2D on insulin therapy, or if you were striving to achieve remission, or if you just wanted to learn more about how food/exercise/stress, etc influences your blood sugar levels. The data gleaned from CGM could be invaluable in managing your condition effectively. We often say, "we don't know what we can't see," and CGM provides a window into our bodies' intricate glucose patterns, enabling us to make proactive adjustments to our lifestyle and treatment plans.

What's more, the evidence supporting the benefits of CGM for individuals with T2D is overwhelming. Numerous studies have demonstrated its efficacy in improving glycaemic control, reducing hypoglycaemia, and enhancing overall quality of life. Beyond these incredible individual health outcomes; it's also about alleviating the burden on the healthcare system and empowering people with diabetes to take control of their health.

So, why aren't we subsidising CGM for individuals with T2D in Australia? It's a question that begs an urgent answer. As a community, we must advocate not only for ourselves but also for our fellow warriors living with T2D. We must amplify our voices and demand equitable access to life-changing technologies like CGM for all individuals affected by diabetes.

At PDC, we are committed to leading this charge. We believe that every person with diabetes, regardless of the type, deserves access to the tools and support they need to thrive. That's why we're calling on policymakers, healthcare providers, and advocacy groups to join us in this crucial campaign for equity in diabetes care.

Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can ensure that no one is left behind in the pursuit of better health and wellbeing. Let's continue to raise our voices, not just for ourselves, but for the entire diabetes community.

In solidarity,Lauren CusackHealth Promotion & Communications Manager

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