New research reveals $2.3 billion cost of missed diabetes health checks

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Australians are being urged to be more proactive in the detection and management of diabetes, with new research suggesting missed eye-checks living with diabetes are contributing to $2.3 billion in costs to the health system and 100,000 potentially avoidable eye-related hospitalisations.

The research from Diabetes Australia has revealed that 50 per cent of people living with diabetes are not accessing a range of recommended health checks such as regular eye tests. Separate research conducted by the RACGP also suggests that 500,000 Australians have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.

Bupa Optical optometrist Ming Wong said regular eye tests should be a priority for all Australians, particularly those with or at risk of developing diabetes.

“As changes to the eyes may progress slowly over time, significant and potentially irreversible damage may be done before a person becomes aware of anything going wrong.

“Regular eye tests are a great way to detect and monitor early signs of diabetes or help manage emerging issues for those already living with the disease,” said Mr Wong.

Bupa Optical said its customers can access Artificial Intelligence enabled eye tests and tailored reports that break new ground in the early detection of general health problems such as diabetes and other eye and general health issues such as heart disease.

“Through new technologies, we can offer Australians a service that provides them with more information about their general health than ever before which they can then discuss with their doctor if and when recommended.

“With many Australians struggling with time and cost pressures, standard eye tests are convenient and accessible way to look after your health covered by Medicare for eligible Medicare card holders. A simple eye test today could help you avoid multiple trips to the hospital down the track,” added Mr Wong.