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At the launch of national kidney health week on 27 May 2013, the Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek, and Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Shayne Neumann, an addition to the Practice incentives program (PIP). A kidney function test will be added to the minimum requirements of the annual cycle of care under the PIP diabetes incentive to encourage general practitioners to identify chronic kidney disease in patients with diabetes at an earlier stage.
'Chronic kidney disease is a major health problem that is thought to affect around one in seven Australians, although the exact number is unknown as many people remain undiagnosed,' Ms Plibersek said.
The condition may be genetic for some people, but for many others the risks can be significantly reduced by eating a nutritional diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and not smoking. People with type 2 diabetes are at a particularly high risk of chronic kidney disease.
'Because of this risk, a kidney function test will be added to the minimum requirements of the annual cycle of care under the PIP diabetes incentive to encourage general practitioners to identify chronic kidney disease in patients with diabetes earlier', said Ms Plibersek.
Through the PIP diabetes incentive, payments are given to general practitioners that complete an annual cycle of care to support patients with diabetes. This includes eye examinations, body mass and blood glucose monitoring, self-care education and reviews of diet, smoking, and physical activity.
The new kidney function test will be added to the program from October 2013 and general practices will be notified of the changes shortly.
Source: Minister for Health, Department of Health and Ageing