A few months ago, the government embarked on a much-needed project that provided children and adolescents living with type 1 diabetes with a Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) device. This project was a huge success and the government deserves credit for it.

The Maltese Diabetes Association has always insisted that CGMs should be available for all persons living with type 1 diabetes, irrespective of age. Many ask why such a device is so important for persons living with diabetes. There are a number of reasons. 

 As persons living with this condition grow older, they start to experience common long-term diabetes-related health problems such as damage to the large blood vessels of the heart, brain and legs and damage to the small blood vessels, causing problems in the eyes, kidneys and feet. Their stress levels start to increase due to occupational and personal issues, besides the financial challenges they would have to face particularly at the start of their adult lives and/or careers.

Many employees, especially non-white collar workers, would not be in a position to test their blood glucose levels using a meter (since one would need to have clean hands etc.) .

The financial implications of financing a CGM from one’s own pocket is huge and indeed challenging. On average, it would cost a person a minimum of €150 per month, depending on the CGM device. Persons who cannot afford such a device are being deprived of this important and innovative equipment to manage and better control their diabetes.

Some persons living with type 1 diabetes are still attending tertiary education or just starting their careers. Their financial ability to fund a CGM device are limited, if non-existent. Having an active lifestyle would require them to monitor their blood sugar levels continuously.

A CGM provides peace of mind when adults with type 1 diabetes are driving a car, travelling overseas, practising a sport or socialising.

Effective diabetes management and control is vital and key to one’s well-being and this can be achieved through a CGM device with 24/7 of continuous monitoring.

While appreciating that this project may have financial implications, it can be introduced in a staggered way, starting from adults aged over 16 and up to 40 and eventually reaching out to all persons living with type 1 diabetes within a stipulated time frame.

Effective diabetes management and control is vital and key to one’s well-being- Chris Delicata

With the budget being presented by the government this month, the association hopes that its heartfelt appeal on behalf of all those living with type 1 diabetes is heard and given due consideration.

It is, however, highly important that the budget outlines a clear road map when such devices would be introduced, thus providing such persons with reassurance and peace of mind.

Scientific evidence shows that CGMs are an advanced and innovative way for people living with diabetes to check glucose readings on a 24/7 basis in real-time or monitor glucose readings over a period of time.  By using a CGM, persons living with diabetes will drastically reduce the number of blood samples from finger pricks taken on a daily basis.

Persons living with this condition should be reimbursed by the health authorities as part of the diabetes formulary. There is no price to one’s health. Having a CGM can only improve one’s diabetes condition. The capital expenditure to introduce such devices must be seen as a long-term investment since, undoubtedly, better diabetes management and control through a CGM will result in lesser complications and hospitalisations.

A CGM is a vital necessity and definitely not a luxury. Persons living with diabetes deserve to have this important device. They already face daily challenges to manage their diabetes and live with this long-term chronic condition. A CGM can only improve their quality of life and well-being.

Persons living with diabetes sincerely hope that their wish will come true in the upcoming budget. This will enable them to continue living with diabetes with a better quality of life and reassurance that their condition is constantly being monitored.


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