In 2012-13, diabetes complications represented 42% of all hospital admissions in Western Victoria Primary Health Network's catchment. Diabetes complications represented 54% of overall bed days, which is a significant increase in total bed days (31,218) in total compared to 17,662 in 2011-12.

The highest rate of type 2 diabetes is seen in the Golden Plains Shire (5.6%), followed by the City of Greater Geelong (4.8%), compared to the Victorian average (4.8%).


The PIP Diabetes Incentive aims to encourage GPs to provide earlier diagnosis and effective management of people with established diabetes mellitus. To be eligible for the Diabetes Incentive, practices must be registered for the PIP and must be accredited, or registered for accreditation against the RACGP Standards for general practice.


For clinical information regarding diabetes please go to HealthPathways. Healthpathways has been developed for use by health professionals. For HealthPathways access or for further information contact the Healthpathways team or call 03 5222 0800.

Medicare Rebates available for Group Services for Type 2 Diabetes

diabetes education

Group Programs for People with Type 2 Diabetes

With a GP referral, people with Type 2 Diabetes can receive Medicare rebates for group services provided by eligible diabetes educators, exercise physiologists and dietitians.

There are two elements involved – an initial allied health assessment of individual patients (1 per calendar year), followed by provision of a maximum of 8 group services (per calendar year). Group Services are in addition to the 5 individual Allied Health services available to eligible patients who have a chronic or terminal condition.

Patient Eligibility:

  • Eligible patients must have Type 2 Diabetes and a GP Management Plan (item 721) in place or for a resident of a residential aged care facility, the GP must have contributed to, or reviewed, a care plan prepared by the residential aged care facility (Item 731).

How to refer:

At the allied health assessment, the eligible allied health provider will direct patients to appropriate group services that are conducted by an eligible allied health provider (diabetes educator, exercise physiologist, dietitian) by completing Part B of the referral form.


  • Costs will vary depending on the allied health provider and the type, length and frequency of the diabetes program.
  • If a provider accepts the Medicare benefit as full payment for the service, there will be no out-of-pocket cost. If not, the patient will have to pay the difference between the fee charged and the Medicare rebate.

Other links and resources:

Diabetes prevention

The Life! Program

The Life! program is a Victorian lifestyle modification program for people at high risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke and is designed to help people turn their health around. The Life! program is delivered through either a group based course or individual Life! Telephone health coaching sessions and aims to increase the capacity of participants to make and sustain a positive lifestyle. The program covers:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Healthy eating, energy balance and weight control
  • Physical activity
  • Stress management and improving sleep patterns
  • Goal setting and managing lapses

“A lifestyle course can reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes by up to 58% in high risk individuals” (Based on success rates of studies in America and Finland).


Funded by the Victorian Government and delivered by Diabetes Victoria, the Life! program is a FREE course that teaches participants to take control of their life to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Patient eligibility and referrals

To be eligible to enter the Life! Program patients should fit into one of the following categories:

To refer a patient

1. Follow the steps in the Patient Eligibility and Referral Pathway document 

2. Complete the Life! Referral form and fax it to Central Referral at Diabetes Victoria fax: 03 9667 1757.

For more information on the Life! Program click here.

Other links and resources