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Diabetes program out of reach

Thursday, 15th January, 2015

By Andrew Robertson

Local diabetes sufferers have been invited to attend free education programs run by Diabetes NSW - but there’s a big catch.

Letters from Diabetes NSW were mailed out to a number of residents in December informing them of “upcoming events in your area” over the next three months.

The free events include screenings, information days and seminars. 

But the offer has left at least one resident bemused after he discovered the closest one was over 850km away in Wagga Wagga.

Chapple Street resident John Gregory said he wouldn’t be attending any of the events, which are offered to people registered with the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS). 

In an accompanying letter to Mr Gregory, Diabetes NSW’s head of NDSS Bronwyn Muir said he could attend “as many as you wish as part of the ongoing support we provide you in the management of your diabetes”.

He was also told further events were scheduled in different locations later this year, and if he didn’t see an event in his area he should call a 1300 number to register his interest in future events.

But residents who ring that number will be wasting their time because they will be registering their interest with Diabetes SA, according to Ms Muir.

She told the BDT this week that the city’s proximity to SA meant residents were automatically connected to Adelaide.

“It’s Telstra,” she said.

Mr Muir said while the list of events was mailed to only a “small number of residents” in Broken Hill she added “it probably shouldn’t have”.

Seeking to turn the episode into a positive, she encouraged locals to contact Diabetes NSW to register their interest so that events might be held in Broken Hill in the future. 

She said the number to call was (02) 9552 9942.

“We’re asking people to let us know and we’ll put them on the wish list and that will be used to influence where we go.

“We really would love to hear from people in Broken Hill.”

Ms Muir said 1.2 million people are diagnosed with diabetes every five minutes in Australia, and roughly the same number went undiagnosed.

She said Diabetes NSW was responsible for delivering NDSS services to around 480,000 people across the entire state.

“So to go to Broken Hill we need to get people to (travel out) so it’s really important to get that feedback.”

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