Local partnership to deliver on the road diabetes care across Hunter New England

A multi-agency five-year program will see the creation of a “Medibus” – a clinic on wheels to bring diabetes care to communities across the Hunter New England Health District.

$12.4 million has been set aside for the bus, which will take specialist multi-disciplinary teams to rural and remote towns that don’t have access locally.

Those services include endocrinologist, diabetes nurses, dietitians, Aboriginal health workers and podiatrists.

Hunter New England Health says one in ten people across the region have diabetes and over half of them are yet to be diagnosed.

Those who are left untreated can face higher rates of heart attack, amputations, strokes, kidney failure, blindness and premature death.

HNELHD Chief Executive Michael DiRienzo says delivering the Diabetes Alliance Program through the medibus model of care will be especially important for rural and regional communities.

“The bus will allow us to take specialist multidisciplinary teams including endocrinologists, diabetes nurses, dietitians, Aboriginal health workers and podiatrists to rural and remote towns that may not have access to these services locally.

“These clinical teams will provide training to local providers, and directly care for patients in a way that empowers them to better manage their own condition,” Mr DiRienzo said. 

The program is being delivered through a join partnership between the Hunter Medical Research Institute, Hunter New England Health, Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network and the University of Newcastle. 

Picture L-R: Richard Nankervis (CEO of Primary Health Network), Michael DiRienzo (CEO of HNELHD), Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin (Institute Director of HMRI, Professor Chris Levi (HMRI Board Member), Associate Professor Shamasunder Acharya (Clinical Lead for Diabetes Alliance Program).

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