Publicly funded weight loss surgery to help patients manage their diabetes

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Evidence from across the globe indicates there is a relationship between obesity and a range of health conditions including type 2 diabetes. Both diabetes and obesity can impact negatively on an individual’s quality of life as well as place significant burden on Queensland’s healthcare system.

While prevention is and must remain a focus for the health system, there are recent studies that show weight loss (bariatric) surgery is a highly effective treatment for people who are both obese and who have type 2 diabetes. In fact, shortly after bariatric surgery, many patients can significantly reduce or stop their diabetes medication altogether under the guidance of their healthcare professional.

Based on this evidence and advice from the Queensland Clinical Senate, Queensland Health is currently funding a two-year initiative to offer weight loss surgery to eligible patients.

The initiative was developed in consultation with a multi-disciplinary team of experienced healthcare professionals, and is based on the most current Australian and international research. The goal is to facilitate fair access across Queensland to a potentially life-changing procedure.

Here’s how the bariatric initiative works:

  1. Referrals are only accepted from public hospital specialists for patients already under the care of a specialist.
  2. The patient must meet a range of strict eligibility criteria to ensure those that will benefit the most are offered surgery.
  3. Each patient is assessed by a multidisciplinary team to determine their suitability, as well as the best type of bariatric procedure to be used.
  4. Patients can be from anywhere in Queensland and the surgery is performed in Brisbane. Travel assistance may be available.
  5. Patients will be supported throughout their journey by a team of experienced health professionals including doctors, nurses, dietitians and psychologists.

For more information, visit the Statewide Bariatric Surgery Initiative page.

Last updated: 21 September 2018