Diabetes sufferers lobbying Government
Sun, 24 Apr 2011 6:24p.m.
By Simon Shepherd
Parents whose children have type one diabetes are campaigning for the Government to fund insulin pumps.
The pumps mean children no longer need injections and have a better lifestyle. But they’re expensive, which forces families to fundraise full-time.
Going for a hot lap at Hampton Downs with Greg Murphy is a rare treat for kids with diabetes.
The V8 Supercar driver himself has two boys with type one, so he knows just how important it is for families to take a break from dealing with the disease.
“People can go into comas and pass out, and it can be life threatening at certain stages, so those are people are in desperate need of having better control of their levels,” he says.
Like Louis, his blood sugar levels were being controlled by insulin injections but they have started to fluctuate - today he needs an extra jab.
“It’s upsetting and it is frustrating, ‘cause there is no rhyme nor reason for it so we have to go with it and give him injections when he needs them and give him sugar when he is having a low,” says his mum Tara.
But friend Sebastian has an insulin pump which helps control levels.
It's expensive and the Government doesn't fund it, but it means a better lifestyle now and less complications later in life.
“The big impact has been the food, we don’t have to now eat at certain times of the day, he doesn’t have to have six meals a day, he can eat whenever he likes he can eat as little or as often, as much as he likes and that’s the biggie,” says Sebastian’s mum Linda Alchin.
To pressure the Government to fund the pumps, the Alchin family has made a mini documentary about living with type 1 diabetes.
The family reveals how they constantly have to fundraise.
Pumps cost up to $8000 and last six years, then there’s the extra $300 a month for tubes and other disposables.
“We are one of the few countries in the world that don’t fund the pumps, our insurance companies don’t fund them either and the Government funding, there’s no funding for the consumables,” says Mrs Alchin.
Some district health boards do fund the pumps, but drug funding agency Pharmac is reviewing whether pumps should be available nationwide.
That process is far from complete and a decision isn't expected until the end of the year.
For now, Louis will still need several injections every day, and Sebastian's family will have to keep fundraising.
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26/03/2012 2:26:36 p.m.
The lady in the clip is incorrect, there are medical insurance companies that will fund pumps, however if you have already been diagnosed ad it is a pre-existing, you're out of luck. Southern Cross is not the only medical insurance co in NZ, and it's probably the worst for lack of options in treatment.
11/05/2011 12:47:21 a.m.
Oi! our government is on top of it aye! I mean they care only about profit not lives. Thats how you make it in life, you get lots of money and then you can buy these things and if you can't oh well, you just don't know how to manage your money... Go National hahaha!!
29/04/2011 6:46:07 p.m.
Sean Busby wrote:
Here in the USA pump therapy is standard for those with type 1 diabetes. I hope that the New Zealand government gets on board soon to help improve the quality of life for all of those with the disease as well as help prevent the many devastating life threatening complications.
26/04/2011 12:42:08 a.m.
Our 15 year old daughter was dx'd last year on 4 March 2010, type 1 diabetes and has four injections every day, to survive, insulin is not a cure for these children, it simply allows them to stay alive, providing they don't have a hypo, which they have many of weekly, but the worse one is the one that sends them into a comma, and if they are not found in time, and given sugar, or a glucose injection, they simply die. Unlike type 2 diabetes, these children cannot prevent being subjecting to this dreadful disease, often a virus causes it within a week. The result is life changing for the child and the family, there is no holiday from this disease at any minute, day or night, for the rest of their lives. Type 1 is not stable or manageable, because the child has no pancreas, it has died within them. Pumps are govt funded in any every other modern country, in the USA, they go straight onto them, these kids and parents didn't ask for this life of hell. Children do die from this disease every year in NZ, yet $35,000 million can be put towards a boat race, that amount would easily supply every child with one, and for the consumables assoc. with it. What is the price of a childs life????
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