Whatever way you look at it, diabetes is an expensive disease to have. Specific diets, testing equipment, specialist appointments, needles; it is an endless cycle of treatment, education, management and products.
But, for those living with Type 2 diabetes, it’s about to get a whole lot worse.
As of July 1, patients have to pay 50-times more for the box of blood-testing strips; with cuts to healthcare funding driving the price up from $1.20 to $60 for a box of 100 strips.
Bear in mind, most people living with Type 2 diabetes use these strips anywhere between four and six times a day, more so if they’re pregnant, ill, travelling, changing medications, exercising heavily, or menstruating.
It’s a change that’s set to affect a massive number of people, with almost a million Aussies suffering from Type 2 diabetes – the most common form of the disease.
Most Type 2 sufferers are not insulin dependant, but need to regularly check their blood’s glucose levels. This process involves pricking their finger to draw blood with a special lancet, and placing a small tab on the strip to get an immediate blood glucose reading.
Fair to say that now these test strips are costing 60 cents a go, many will be rethinking how often they can afford to test their blood glucose levels.
I suppose I wouldn't have noticed this news so keenly if my own boyfriend hadn't been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes just two weeks ago.
A whirlwind of emergency room visits, specialists, needles, and 200 page manuals on living with diabetes; the diagnosis was a major shock to everyone. He is super healthy - a professional sailor - and has no family history of the disease. Unlike Type 2, Type 1 diabetes is not lifestyle related: it's random.