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Diabetes costs $24m and should be top election issue

DIABETES should be the top issue in the State Election campaign as it has been revealed the issue is costing the Fraser Coast more than $24 million in lost productivity, according to Diabetes Queensland.

Described as the "most serious and expensive issue facing Queensland's health system", there's a call for all sides of politics to treat the issue seriously.

While type 2 diabetes is largely preventable by healthy eating and exercise, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition however both can greatly affect every part of a person's life.

Diabetes Queensland have developed a Diabetes Action Plan, an initiative which proposes increasing education, funding health professionals and preparing a lifestyle intervention program.

The plan is expected to cost $6.87 million over three years and Diabetes Queensland chief executive Michelle Trute said it was aimed at lowering the impact diabetes had in our society.

"The Diabetes Action Plan is a three-pillared strategy based on support and management for people with all types of diabetes as well as preventing people from developing type 2 diabetes," she said.

On the Fraser Coast candidates have all offered their support to the battle against diabetes.

Incumbent Member for Maryborough Anne Maddern said there were already six programs provided by the Department of Health focusing on fitness and healthy eating.

"Each of these programs in slightly different ways addresses the issue of diabetes, its causes and treatment," she said.

Maryborough's Palmer candidate Steve Anderson suffers from type two diabetes and he said awareness was the best tool to combat the issue.

"People should be constantly kept aware that inaction, and consumption of certain foods also aids the onset of diabetes," he said.

>> Check out the latest State Election coverage here

Independent candidates for Hervey Bay and Maryborough Jannean Dean and Russell Wattie also supported better education.

One Nation candidate for Maryborough Damian Huxham said the region needed a new mindset.

"It needs more than dollars thrown at the issue, we really need a change in culture to improve the general health of everyone within our community," he said.

Maryborough candidate Bruce Saunders said Labor's Health for Life-Taking action on diabetes policy was based on a similar program in Victoria.

"Its primary focus is education of those at a high level of risk," he said.

"It proposes to use multiple recruitment strategies including social media, referrals by GPs, local health promotion and workplace wellness programs."

Topics:  diabetes, diabetes queensland, health system, issue, state election 2015



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