The Greens want to help people with diabetes and other chronic diseases in Medicare overhaul

The Medicare system needs an overhaul to provide for the millions of Australians suffering from chronic illnesses says Greens leader Richard Di Natale.

Today Mr Di Natale will announce plans to expand Medicare to provide better treatment for people with chronic conditions like diabetes, reports ABC.

Under the proposal, GPs would get an annual payment of $1,000 to provide a package of care for the patient and a plan to manage their condition.

He said it would cost around $4.5 billion and mean patients like diabetics would get the whole range of services they need.

“For example an eye specialist, because we know that diabetes is a preventable cause of blindness,” Senator Di Natale said.

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“You are then referred to for example a foot specialist a podiatrist so that you can have regular screening and avoid amputations, and Australia has one of the highest amputation rates in the world because we don’t manage chronic disease well.”

“One of the things that we don’t do very well is look after people who have complex chronic disease and often they end up in hospital requiring very expensive care,” he said.

“What we need to do is get better co-ordination of care very early on.”

Senator Di Natale said the annual payments to GPs would replace “the current ineffective system of incentive payments”.

2.4 million Australians suffer from a form of diabetes.

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