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Responsibility for care? - Diabetes Australia
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Responsibility for care?

Who has it and when do they get it? 

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 obtain their own Medicare card from the age of 15 as it 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 help you manage your diabetes forever.  Taking actions to manage your own diabetes will help you live your life to the full!

How your doctor/clinic appointments are paid for:

Transitional care: How can it happen?

 There are many different ways transition to adult services can occur: 

Your paediatric service transfers you to adult services

Your paediatric service provides you with the information and you transfer yourself

Your clinic/doctor offers both paediatric and adult services


  • attends first few appointments with you
  • helps with transfer of information to new team
  • appointment usually arranged for you
  • attend on a set day with transitioning patients
  • Information and referral letter provided to you
  • You arrange the appointment yourself
  • Dr may start to talk to you without your parents in the room
  • You gradually take responsibility for making appointments, how they are paid for and getting pathology (blood) tests done


Need more info about how Transition happens?

 Download the factsheet...

 When will I Transition?

 Generally there are three main approaches to transition.

1.  Transfer to adult services towards the end of schooling (17 to 18 yrs)

Patients remain in care of paediatric service until around the end of secondary school and similar to leaving school, the transition to adult medical service also occurs.

2. Transfer to adult services in mid adolescence (14 to 16)

Transfer to adult services occurs in early teenage years.  This is so that by the time the young person is facing the end of school, they are well established in the adult health care system and have a good understanding of how to manage their diabetes as they begin to accept more responsibility in other areas of their life.

3.   Transfer to an adolescent and young adult clinic within an adult hospital (15- 18 yrs)

Some clinics and doctors are able to offer an ‘intermediate’ service where young people can be seen at a transition clinic – usually targeted at the 15-20 year old age group.  These services are designed to meet the needs of young people (after hour’s appointments, access to blood testing on site, sms reminders etc.).  Patients are then transferred to adult services when they are ready, or when they 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 service available in your area.