The head of one of Australia's leading health bodies has criticised the federal government for failing to address the increasing issue of diabetes.
Chief executive of Diabetes Australia Lewis Kaplan believes that the desire to return a budget surplus has overshadowed the importance of providing assistance to the 1.7 million diabetes sufferers around the country.
"It's not good for the nation's health to not focus very much more strongly on the diabetes pandemic because it's going to send the system broke," he told AAP sources on May 14.
"If we don't do something about it, in 20, 30 years' time we won't be able to afford healthcare because there will be so many people with so many complications from diabetes."
According to Private Healthcare Australia, health insurance providers paid for approximately 15 per cent of all in-hospital episodes related to the treatment of diabetes in 2009-10.
This is in addition to paying $4.6 million in benefits for chronic disease management programs and over $6 million for insulin pumps used to treat Type 1 diabetes.
Despite 275 new cases diagnosed every day, Diabetes Australia believes that at least 700,000 instances are currently undiagnosed.