Over the weekend we heard announcements from both major political parties in Australia promising CGM subsidy for people with type 1 diabetes should they win the upcoming election. For us, this would mean paying $32.50 per month for CGM as opposed to $330 for life saving/changing technology. In real terms, it means being able to have further options when it comes to diabetes management.
The ability to see what my glucose levels are doing in real time provides such a huge safety net, especially being pregnant and chasing after a toddler, while trying to juggle full time work and life in general. For some it means freedom and independence to live their lives rather than being in fear of a high or a low and its repercussions. Regardless, having it within our reach is a pretty effing big deal.
I had expected to be equally effing excited and happy to hear such an announcement. Instead I felt surprisingly dirty and angry. Angry that our healthcare needs were being used as a political game piece; that politicians were trying to buy our vote with promises that might not necessarily eventuate. Although to be fair the last time they promised CGM funding to those with clinical needs, they actually delivered. So I do have hope.
I’m also upset at myself for taking on such a cynical view. Especially knowing how hard organisations and individuals have worked and advocated for this over the last decade. These changes are not something that happens overnight and I’m so so proud and happy that their hard work and our persistence as a community to advocate for this has paid off. I just really really hope that regardless of the outcome, these promises will become reality.
But the advocacy doesn’t and shouldn’t stop there. Diabetes doesn’t fit into neat little tick boxes that our healthcare system has adopted. There are so many people living with different types of diabetes or similar conditions who would benefit from ongoing CGM use. As a community, we need to continue advocating for everyone within the community to keep #CGMforALL a reality. Our voices are stronger together and I really hope that the advocacy doesn’t slow down once people with type 1 diabetes have access to CGM subsidy. I mean, we’re still fighting for insulin pump consumable subsidies to be accessible for people with type 2 diabetes too.
So here’s to the freaking Easter bunny. For giving us a luxuriously long weekend, with fabulous weather, news to celebrate and reflections to mull over.