For the next six months, Western Australians living with type 2 diabetes will no longer have to provide paperwork to access essential blood glucose test strips.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, the Australian Government has announced it is suspending the requirement for people with type 2 diabetes (who do not use insulin) to provide a Blood Glucose Test Strip Six Month Approval Form to access these necessary supplies.
Under the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS), people with type 2 diabetes can access subsidised blood glucose test strips for six months following their diagnosis. This form provides subsidised test strips for a further six months once the initial period has ended.
Typically, these forms must be completed by a doctor or credentialled diabetes educator and shown at point of purchase before strips can be purchased.. However, given the current situation, the Australian Government has decided to suspend the requirement for paperwork and automatically grant every person living with type 2 diabetes a six-month extension.
This means that to pick up their test strips, Western Australians can just visit their closest NDSS Access Point – either the Diabetes WA online shop which offers home delivery, or a pharmacy.
“At a time when we are supposed to be social distancing as much as possible and our health system is under significant urgent pressures, it makes sense that we should suspend this requirement and eliminate the need for any unnecessary contact,” said Diabetes WA Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wagstaff.
However, he urged people living with type 2 diabetes to remain in regular contact with their health care team to discuss any problems as they arise or any changes they may need to make to their usual diabetes management in response to COVID-19.
Many health professionals were now switching to telephone and telehealth consultations, he noted, including Diabetes WA, which had expanded its diabetes helpline and telehealth operations.
The free Diabetes WA Helpline and Telehealth service is now available to all Western Australians living with diabetes in both rural and metropolitan areas and operating hours have been extended until 8pm weekdays.
Whether people are after a quick chat or an extended consultation, the service connects callers with a diabetes educator, dietitian, nurse, exercise physiologist and pharmacist – over the phone or on the computer. Callers can also be connected to local and online services, including MyDESMOND – the new type 2 diabetes online education program pilot. Just call 1300 001 880.