by Prof Jane Speight

In a recent issue of the MJA, Prof Paul Zimmet and colleagues, have published a letter, in which they raise concerns that the Government has not listened well to what is needed to improve the health and quality of life of Australians with diabetes. Prof Zimmet et al are well-placed to make this claim, as they led the National Diabetes Strategy Advisory Group and developed the Advice to Government (Aug 2015) that informed the development of the Australian National Diabetes Strategy 2016-2020 (NDS; Nov 2015).

Prof Jane Speight has published a letter in response, cautioning that the Australian National Diabetes Strategy 2016-2020 (NDS; Nov 2015), important as it is, has let down Australians with diabetes because it has not identified the metrics for evaluating various goals relating to protecting and improving the mental health and quality of life of people with diabetes. The publication of these letters is timely given that the NDS Implementation Plan is now open for consultation until 31 March 2017.

Prof Speight argues that “what get measured gets done”, and urges anyone responding to the Implementation Plan consultation to consider that quality of life is “not just a buzz word” but an important metric that needs to be valued as much as other outcomes, and measured accordingly. This debate was triggered by publication of Prof Speight’s Perspective (Behavioural innovation is key…) published in August 2016.

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