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Who is responsible for care?

Who has the responsibility of care, and when do they become responsible?

From the age of 15, young people can get their own Medicare card and can attend a doctor’s appointment without their parents’ consent.

Health professionals encourage young people to get their own Medicare card once they turn 15 years old, as this promotes awareness and understanding of the health care system and how funding arrangements work.

This is also a good time to make sure you update your diabetes knowledge and find out any new diabetes information that may be out there.

Your parents can’t manage your diabetes forever. Taking steps to independently manage your own diabetes will help you live your life to the fullest!

Transitional care: how can it happen?

Your paediatric service transfers you to adult health care servicesYour paediatric service provides you with the information and you transition yourselfYour clinic/doctor offers both paediatric and adult services, so you can transition internally
Your paediatric service:
  • attends the first few appointments with you
  • helps with the transfer of information to your new team
  • usually arranges your appointment for you
  • attends on a set day with people who are transitioning
  • Your paediatric service gives you all the information you need and a referral letter.
  • You arrange the appointment yourself.
  • Your doctor may start to talk to you without your parents in the room.
  • You gradually take responsibility for making your appointments, how they are paid for and getting pathology (blood) tests done.

Need more info about how transition happens?

Read more in our Moving on up: transitioning to adult health care services – a guide for young adults with diabetes booklet.

When will I transition?

There are three main approaches to transition.

  1. Transfer to adult health care services towards the end of schooling (at 17–18 years)
    You remain in the care of your paediatric service until around the end of secondary school. Just like leaving school, you then transition to adult health care services.
  2. Transfer to adult health care services in mid-adolescence (at 14–16 years)
    People usually transfer to adult health care services in their early teenage years. This is so that by the time you are nearing the end of school, you are well-established in the adult health care system and have a good understanding of how to manage your diabetes as you begin to accept more responsibility in other areas of your life.
  3. Transfer to an adolescent and young adult clinic within an adult hospital (at 15–18 years)
    Some clinics and doctors can offer an ‘intermediate’ service where you as a young person can be seen at a transition clinic—which usually focuses on the 15–20 years age group. These services are designed to meet the needs of young people (after-hour appointments, access to blood testing on site, SMS reminders, etc.).  You are then transferred to adult health care services when you are ready, or when you reach the upper age limit for the transition clinic.  

The age that you finally transfer will depend on your individual needs and whether there is an adult diabetes health care service available in your area.

Diabetes Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this Country. We recognise their connection to land, waters, winds and culture. We pay the upmost respect to them, their cultures and to their Elders, past and present. We are committed to improving health outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by diabetes and those at risk.

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