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The personal experience that prompted Nicole Lawder to call for diabetes testing at work

Lachlan Roberts 1 August 2019 8

Nicole Lawder is calling for all ACT public servants to have access to diabetes testing at work. File photo.

Liberal MLA Nicole Lawder knows too well of the dangers of living with undiagnosed diabetes. If not for a chance encounter at work, she would have continued to live undiagnosed herself.

That is why Ms Lawder is advocating for all ACT public servants to be tested for diabetes at work, just like she was.

Ms Lawder moved a motion in the ACT Legislative Assembly on Wednesday (31 July) calling on the ACT Government to work with Diabetes NSW & ACT to ensure ACT public servants are offered a diabetes test at their workplace.

“I didn’t even have a slot to see them but on the day, one of my staff who had booked in was away sick,” Ms Lawder shared. “I decided to take their spot so I could get a photo and put it on my social media for awareness-raising.

“I was taken by surprise when the test showed I had diabetes and that I had been living with undiagnosed diabetes for some time.”

Ms Lawder said she had previously had episodes of high blood pressure but put that down to the stress of work and life. Now realising what can happen if the chronic disease goes untreated – from blindness, kidney damage, heart attack to amputation of limbs – she is thankful she was tested that day.

“The longer you go without medicating it, the greater the possibility of a significant medical issue developing before you end up in the hospital,” Ms Lawder said.

“Being diagnosed now, while it was a shock, enables me to try and manage it through medication and other lifestyle and health choices and that should enable me to stay healthier for longer.

“I would have not have known and who knows what damage could have been done in that time.”

Ms Lawder hopes the ACT Government realises how important it is to confront diabetes in the workplace by ensuring all ACT public servants are offered the test in the workplace.

“Diabetes is a huge health challenge which we must confront,” Ms Lawder said. “It can lead to a range of health complications including heart disease, blindness and amputation. It can also cause death.

“In the ACT, there are thousands of Canberrans who have been diagnosed and are living with different types of diabetes.

“It is estimated that there could be around 5,500 people in the ACT who are silently living with diabetes without knowing it. The ACT Government can do more. As someone who was diagnosed through a workplace testing program, I strongly recommend it.”

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8 Responses to
The personal experience that prompted Nicole Lawder to call for diabetes testing at work
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7:28 pm 01 Aug 19

Why not to make it available in all workplaces, not just the ACT Govt ones? Equality for all, especially if the taxpayer covers the cost.

7:21 pm 01 Aug 19

Why should we pay for that?

4:56 pm 01 Aug 19

Isn't that nice that personal experience prompts suggested reforms. Now, if only we could have some political representatives with serious mental illness, drug addiction or homelessness so we finally get that sorted.

4:11 pm 01 Aug 19

Really??? And who is supposed to pay for that??? Taxpayers??? Take some responsibility for yourself and get it done yourself!!!

    4:37 pm 01 Aug 19

    Karen Joy Stone Nowak if you implement large scale testing, the cost per person goes down, and will probably be negligible compared to the cost to taxpayers if people get late diagnosis and need more intensive medical care. Prevention is always cheaper than treatment, and early detection leads to prevention of complication.

    5:50 pm 01 Aug 19

    Public servants also pay tax!!!!

    2:06 am 02 Aug 19

    Karen Joy Stone Nowak but if she went to a bulk bill doctor to get it done, it would be paid by the tax payer anyway

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