Grattan Institute report highlights failings in primary care


The importance of diabetes self-management education has become even more evident with recent release of the Grattan Institute report chronic failure in primary care.

The report showed that only a quarter of Australians living with type 2 diabetes receive the recommended level of care, which is in turn leading to poor health outcomes for patients and a growing financial burden for the government.

"The burden of primary care in Australia currently lies with the GP. For a person managing a chronic condition, a short consultation with their GP will not address the myriad of issues they are facing,” said Deb Schofield, Diabetes WA General Manager of Health Services.

"It’s time we stopped treating chronic conditions like acute conditions that only require medical management. Medical management is a crucial piece of the puzzle – but people need to learn how to problem solve and deal with issues in their day to day life, during those times when their GP or other health professional isn’t there.”

DESMOND is a program that empowers people to understand their condition and take of it, managing the everyday changes and challenges that come with type 2 diabetes. DESMOND educators listen and explore health issues with participants and guide them to set achievable goals that make sense in their world. Participants leave the sessions ready to make their own decisions and take action.

Such an approach is crucial to dealing with the growing burden of chronic conditions, Ms Schofield said.

“If integrated self-management is not the corner stone of treatment in the future, then we will fail another generation of people living with a chronic condition,” she said