LNP's $3m plan for indigenous diabetes treatment

LNP leader Tim Nicholls.
LNP leader Tim Nicholls. FILE

MOBILE diabetes treatment will receive a boost if the LNP wins government.

Leader Tim Nicholls will today announce an LNP government would grant $3million for the Indigenous Diabetes Eyes and Screening van to provide education, equipment and specialist support to indigenous Queenslanders.

This paper revealed, as part of the Fair Go For Our Kids campaign, young regional Queenslanders were more likely to be overweight or obese than those in Brisbane and as a result more likely to develop chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes later in life.

LNP shadow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partnerships minister Steve Minnikin said the van provided important educational tools for at-risk young indigenous Queenslanders.

"It's grassroots initiatives like this which help educate young indigenous people about their health and get them comfortable getting check-ups and talking to medical professionals,” he said.

"Preventative health care is important and the earlier people can be screened, the better chance we have of getting on top of diabetes and other eye issues.”

Mr Nicholls said the IDEAS van travelled about 200,000km every year to locations including Toowoomba, Roma, Townsville, Palm Island, Cairns, Mackay, Rockhampton, Hervey Bay and Bundaberg.

Indigenous Queenslanders are more likely to have diabetes than the rest of the population.

Uncontrolled glucose levels in people with diabetes can damage blood vessels at the back of the eye and, without treatment, can lead to vision loss or blindness.

"More than 4500 Queenslanders, predominantly diabetes patients, have been screened and a further 2500 patients referred to an IDEAS van clinic for treatment to save their eyesight,” Mr Nicholls said.

"Our funding commitment will ensure the service can continue screening patients, conducting eye scans and organising referrals for surgery.”

IDEAS Van CEO Lyndall De Marco said the previous LNP government's funds helped 3000 patients receive sight saving treatment. -NewsRegional

Topics:  diabetes fairgoforourkids ideas van indigenous health lnp politics qldelection2017

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