New guidelines for GPs to help manage the type 2 diabetes epidemic

27 September, 2016

GPs are now better prepared to manage the enormous increase of type 2 diabetes in Australia after the release of the latest edition of the new "General practice management of type 2 diabetes 2016-2018" handbook.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), in conjunction with Diabetes Australia, have launched their revised guidelines designed to support GPs and help them to diagnose and manage diabetes more effectively.

"Type 2 diabetes is a rapidly growing national problem and GPs are in the best position to respond and help manage this alarming epidemic," RACGP president Dr Frank R Jones said.

"Another 100,000 Australians developed diabetes in the past year and type 2 diabetes is around 85% of all diabetes. There are over 1 million Australians right now who have type 2 diabetes," Dr Jones said.

"The early identification and optimal management of people with type 2 diabetes is critical and general practice has a key role to play in managing the disease across the spectrum. This includes identifying those at risk right through to caring for patients at the end of life.

"There are around 1 million diabetes related hospitalisations every year and GPs can play a big role in reducing this number," Dr Jones said.

Diabetes Australia, CEO, Adjunct Professor Greg Johnson said "…many people have silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes which can be causing damage to their bodies. If left undiagnosed or not managed optimally, type 2 diabetes can cause serious complications such as blindness, kidney disease, limb amputation, heart attacks, stroke and early death."

"Type 2 diabetes has a greater impact on the disadvantaged," Adjunct Professor Johnson said. 

"Those in lower socioeconomic areas, people in rural and remote areas and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are all more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and more likely to develop serious complications.

"People living with type 2 diabetes should be supported and encouraged to self-manage their diabetes and reach their goals and this new Handbook includes a strong emphasis on supporting self-management," Adjunct Professor Johnson said.

The guidelines provide an accessible summary of best practice and are a result of a successful partnership between the RACGP and Diabetes Australia. Focusing on factors that are relevant to current Australian clinical practice, the new guidelines have a focus on individual patient preferences and self-management.

The guidelines are free to download on the RACGP and Diabetes Australia websites. Copies of the guidelines will be distributed to RACGP members, endocrinologists and diabetes educators across Australia.