Calls have been made for GPs to be allowed to approve access to subsidised glucose monitors for their patients.
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) said managing patients with type 1 diabetes within a specialist team is well within the scope of GPs across the country. The body's letter to the federal Department of Health and Aged Care calls for the department to recognise this.
An estimated 130,000 people have type 1 diabetes in Australia and continuous glucose monitors allow people with diabetes to track blood sugar levels, an essential step that can help them effectively manage their condition.
At the moment, only health professionals for whom diabetes is the main scope of their practice are allowed to authorise access to such devices. On the consent form, it states those certified by GPs can't be approved.
The body's president Adj. Professor Karen Price described the current situation as "nonsensical" and called upon the government to change this.
"There is no logical explanation for why other members of a healthcare team are able to sign a form approving this device, but hardworking GPs are excluded. Not only is it insulting to GPs, it creates an unnecessary barrier to patient access for something that could make a real difference in managing their health," Adj. Professor Price said.
"The status quo is particularly disadvantageous for patients in rural and remote areas who rely more on their GP for overall healthcare needs. Telehealth and electronic form transmission may be helpful for some but Medicare rebates for longer phone consultations were removed at the start of this month - something else we are trying to fix."
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