I'm a Type 1 pumper currently living in the UK.  I will be moving to Sydney in June for an expected couple of years deployment and need to find out how I am going to manage my diabetes when I am there.

I do have medical insurance so the costs should be covered, but I have no idea about the process of getting insulin and supplies, do I need to register with a doctor etc.  My current diabetes team I see maybe once a year (which is how I like it) and I only see my GP to get a prescription for insulin so I am used to managing my D completely independantly.

Can someone please help me with this very basic information so that I can have as smooth a transition from the UK as possible.


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Depending on where you're moving to, your best bet is to call or email the local Diabetes Association - Diabetes Australia, or Diabetes NSW (if you're moving to NSW).

Our medical system isn't quite the same as yours. If you are from the UK, you have a certain amount of coverage here, with reciprocal agreements. See HERE.

Don't quote me but I think your insulin might be covered under the PBS system, so you'll pay a reduced fee for the prescription. I think you can apply for what we call a "Medicare Card", with a passport and a valid visa. The site above re coverage is the Medicare site, so maybe you can contact them via email.

You don't 'register' with a doctor here. You can go to any General Practitioner you want. Some will 'bulk bill' you which means that Medicare pays. Some you'll have to pay and then claim back. In some surgeries this is all automatic if you pay with a debit card, they'll do the claim for you and most of what you pay will be back in your account the next day.

Best doctor to see is via a recommendation. Maybe your work colleagues can help?

You'll need a doctor get a prescription for your insulin, the cost of which should be subsidised, according to the eligibility criteria (UK residents, but not Ireland, apparently).

Diabetes supplies are covered by the NDSS scheme, where you'll need to register if eligible.

Hope that's a start. Please feel free to ask more specific questions, or message me.
Hi Dave

Do you know what part of Sydney you will live in? I lived on the North Shore and visited the Diabetic clinic at the Royal North Shore Hospital which is in St Leonards not far from North Sydney and had my own endocronologist his name is Dr Martin Sulway not far from the hospital; but I'm not sure if he still practises. You can have a local doctor write scripts for your insulin or the diabetic clinic doctors will also do this for you.

Hope this helps

Thanks for the replies so far. We are looking at staying around the lower North Shore area, so the clinic at Royal North Shore Hospital sounds ideal.

Re Dr Martin Sulway, this article from last year says that he has no plans to retire so I might be in luck!

Any more information that people can give me will be much appreciated.

I also have another question if you can indulge me. I currently use a Bayer Contour meter as my primary meter but I am not sure if test strips are available for that meter in Australia.

My backup meters are the Accu-chek Aviva Nano and the One Touch Ultra Easy

Are strips available for any of these meters or am I going to need to get a new one?
Go HERE and download the NDSS Order Form where you can see what test strips are available.

I use the Nano which uses Performa strips, so that's definitely available.
I had looked at the form already but they seem to have different names in different countries - the Nano strips are just called Aviva here, not Performa for example so I couldn't match it up on the form.

I can't see any strips for Bayer meters at all and I will be disappointed if I have to stop using that meter.

Thanks for the information.
Davet, I'm pretty sure that your Aviva is our Nano, which uses the Performa strips. A call to Accu-Check will confirm that your meter is compatible.

We used to have Bayer, but I'm not sure what happened.

Good luck!
Hi Dave,
I live in Perth and am Type 1 also. I have lived in New Zealand, Wales and Australia. I would advice you to bring a letter from your current GP (and/or specialist) stating your current med's, etc and what ever else he thinks you need, to give to a GP of your choice here in Australia.
Bring enough medications to last several months. Registering with a GP will be your first step for any prescriptions and he will want as much info as possible on your past medical history. You will probably need to register with 'Medicare' as well, which is the Govt medical assistance all Australian's have to have to get any med's on the PBA otherwise you will be paying full price for insulin etc. I do hope this helps. And good luck with your travels and settling in to Down Under.




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