New school program for type 1 diabetes support

Amanda Lyons

5/09/2018 2:45:40 PM

The Federal Government has invested $6 million in a school-based program that will help children across Australia who have type 1 diabetes.

Australian children with type 1 diabetes will receive additional support with their disease at school under the Federal Government’s new program.
Australian children with type 1 diabetes will receive additional support with their disease at school under the Federal Government’s new program.

There are around 6000 children throughout Australia with type 1 diabetes, a disease that requires constant vigilance and monitoring. Staying on top of management can be difficult for children to maintain, and their parents can often feel anxious about what will happen to them while they are at school.
To help combat this issue, the Federal Government this week announced its ‘Type 1 diabetes management in schools’ program (the program), which is designed to provide better support in a school setting.
The program will receive $6 million in funding and will be designed and delivered by Diabetes Australia, through the National Diabetes Services Scheme, with combined support from a number of key national health professional and consumer diabetes organisations.
It aims to promote awareness of type 1 diabetes symptoms and management in schools, one of the goals of the Australian National Diabetes Strategy, by providing education for teachers in the management of children who have the disease. This will include training in specifics such as administering insulin and recognising hypoglycaemia, as well as in broader concerns such as normalising diabetes management in schools.
According to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, the program is complementary to the Federal Government’s Asthma in Schools program, announced earlier this year, and will help contribute to the overall wellbeing of children with diseases that need management.
‘[The program] is part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring children with chronic conditions are able to receive appropriate care, if they need it, at school,’ Minister Hunt said.

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Peter Goss   6/09/2018 10:59:04 PM

The Minister knows that Australian and international experts created a no cost, internationally endorsed Type 1 Diabetes school e-learning modules ( late last year which have been described as "the greatest advance in paediatric diabetes education in many years". They have been praised by parents, schools and diabetes teams. Now an announcement to replicate success at significant $1m cost? When every child with Type 1 at school needs support, is a $500k needs analysis required? Is a model that supports only half of children with T1D at school not discriminatory? Doctors are responsible for the outcomes when they prescribe S4 medications like insulin at school - how will these funds be used to support the child's health team to train and create a supportive relationship with parent and school? Will Government insist on best practice international guidelines? Big questions - await answers before trusting this proposal.