Why is western Sydney’s diabetes hotspot costing $1 billion?
It’s been revealed more than 91,500 people in western Sydney have diabetes –costing New South Wales $1.48 billion a year in healthcare and other economic impacts.
According to the Western Sydney Diabetes (WSD) Year in Review for 2020, the disease rates are higher in western Sydney than wider NSW, making Sydney’s west an official diabetes “hotspot”.
WSD Director Professor Glen Maberly is alarmed with the growing number of people living with diabetes and its costs – both on people and for treatment.
It’s estimated that the health and other costs of a person with type 2 diabetes are a staggering $16,124 per year.
Professor Maberly says if the western Sydney diabetes hotspot is not addressed, it will cause an unsustainable economic and burden on the state’s healthcare system within a decade.
“It’s estimated the cost to treat a person with type 2 diabetes was more than $16,000 each year,” Professor Maberly said.
“It’s possible to beat type 2 diabetes by making changes to your diet and lifestyle.”
Over the past four years, diabetes screening in general practices across western Sydney identified 17 per cent of patients with diabetes and 27 per cent with pre-diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where a person becomes resistant to insulin or their pancreas is no longer able to produce enough insulin to counteract the food eaten.
“Often people living with diabetes are unaware of the signs or symptoms. If gone untreated, late diagnosis of diabetes can result in kidney disease, heart disease and blindness,” Professor Maberly said.
“Let us become smarter in the way we tackle diabetes together.”
Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) is leading the charge on beating diabetes together as part of the Western Sydney Diabetes (WSD) initiative.
The collaborative initiative led by WSLHD, the Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WentWest), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC Australia), Diabetes NSW & ACT and the Department of Primary, Industry and Environment.
Other highlights for WSD in 2020 included:
- The establishment of the WSD Virtual Care with telehealth and cloud based solutions, replacing most face-to-face consultations during COVID-19.
- Opening of the weekly community diabetes clinic in the Mount Druitt Community Health Centre.
- Rolling out the Diabetes Together App and linking it to CareMonitor – a shared care, real-time remote monitoring and population health management platform.
If you have any health or diabetes concerns, please contact your GP in the first instance for advice. You can also visit the Western Sydney Diabetes page.
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