Diabetes

08 September 2017

House of Representatives

Thursday 7 September 2017

Ms McBRIDE (Dobell) (10:12): Every day, 280 Australians develop diabetes. That's one person every five minutes. More than 100,000 Australians have developed diabetes in the past year. On the Central Coast alone, there are 33,000 people living with diabetes. As a pharmacist working at Wyong Hospital for almost 10 years, I saw firsthand the complications of diabetesulcers, amputations, kidney failure and preventable blindness. The prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in my community is significantly higher than the national average. This is an epidemic.

That's why next Sunday I'll be joining the JDRF One Walk helping to raise awareness and funds for research into diabetes. Now in its fifth year on the Central Coast, local organiser Margaret Sheridan's goal is to hit a fundraising target of $100,000 and I'm asking our local community to dig deep. I met Margaret recently. She's an inspiration. Her tireless efforts working with Robyn Edmonds-King to raise funds to turn type 1 into 'type none' deserve our gratitude and thanks. A special mention must go to Margaret's family. Without their help, this event would not happen each year.

Research is important, awareness is important, but there are children in our community who need help now children like seven-year-old Alexis, who has type 1 diabetes. Alexis's mum, Kerrie, met with me to speak up for children with type 1 diabetes, their families and carers, and to draw attention to the lack of services in our region. Kerrie knows firsthand that we need expanded paediatric endocrinology services on the coast. It's time the New South Wales government stepped up. I welcome the recent appointment of a part-time paediatric endocrinologist and I call on the state government to properly fund diabetes services on the Central Coast. The Central Coast Local Health District's diabetes service is stretched and the demand is increasing. Children like Alexis need early intervention. It saves lives.

Charities like Diabetes NSW & ACT have seen the need for help on the Central Coast and acted. Their recent DiaBuddies day at the Australian Reptile Park was a boost to local families, bringing together children with type 1 diabetes and their families, carers and friends in a supportive environment. I look forward to Diabetes NSW & ACT bringing this event to the coast again soon. This is a critical health issue and more research is essential. So too are education and support and boosted local services. If you're free on Sunday, 17 September join me in Davistown. It's dog, pram and wheelchair friendly, and you'll be doing your bit to make type 1 type none.