Focus on diabetes key to healthy Canberra

Released 10/10/2018

Reducing the impact of diabetes and encouraging healthier lifestyles to prevent chronic diseases like diabetes is paying off in the ACT, with the latest AIHW report released today showing the ACT had the lowest incidence of Type 2 diabetes when compared to the rest of the nation in 2016.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris said that ACT Health will shortly open a new funding round of Healthy Canberra Grants that will have a particular focus on funding community-based activities to encourage healthy lifestyles and prevent the onset of diabetes.

“Canberrans have the highest life expectancy in Australia as we are living longer and healthier lives,” Minister Fitzharris said.

“However, as our community grows and gets older, we need to continue to focus on preventing serious health conditions like diabetes that can have a significant impact not only on someone’s health, but on our health care system.”

The report also highlighted some areas for improvement, with the ACT still having the highest rate of people over 18 that had an inadequate fruit and/or vegetable intake and the second highest percentage of people with cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

“That’s why the ACT Government has committed $4 million over four years from 2017-18 to encourage and support all Canberrans to live healthier and more active lives.

“The ACT Government will also open a new funding round of Healthy Canberra Grants soon to further focus on diabetes prevention.”

Minister Fitzharris said this financial year ACT Health will contribute over $250,000 to Diabetes ACT to provide information, education and services to people with diabetes and those at risk of diabetes.

Canberra Health Services also has an excellent Diabetes Service that provides coordinated and integrated service at the Canberra Hospital and across various community based locations within the ACT for the care and treatment of people with diabetes.

“This service is provided by a multidisciplinary team and offers diabetes care and treatment across the continuum for pre-diabetes, children, adolescents and adults, women during pregnancy, and Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

“Our Diabetes Nutrition Service also provides group and individual appointments for people with diabetes, gestational diabetes, impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance.

“Our dieticians work in a multidisciplinary team alongside diabetes educators, podiatrists, social workers and endocrinologists providing the person-centred and holistic care that underpins health services in the ACT.

“All of these services are clearly working and it’s great to see we have the lowest incidence of Type 2 diabetes in Australia according to today’s report.”

Minister Fitzharris said she also wanted to focus on how we can reduce the impact of gestational diabetes for women in the ACT.

“Gestational diabetes can place women and their children at significant risk during and after the pregnancy. It’s important we take steps to mitigate this risk prior to pregnancy, as well as during and after the baby’s birth, and that is what the ACT Government will look to work on,” the Minister said.

For further information on the Diabetes Nutrition Service, visit:

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Section: Meegan Fitzharris, MLA | Media Releases

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