Your Diabetes Care team gives you the support you need to manage your diabetes


If you have diabetes, you know how important it is to manage the condition well. You need support to do this. Being surrounded by the right healthcare team makes diabetes management and care far simpler for you and far more effective overall - ensuring your best quality of life.

The right care team is exactly what's available to members of Discovery Health Medical Scheme who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

By signing up to the Diabetes Care Programme , you get access to a carefully selected team to provide holistic care for you condition. Your healthcare team will help you learn everything you need to know about your condition, its treatment and management. They will also personalise your care.

  • To get cover for diabetes care and access to the Diabetes Care Programme, members must register for the Chronic Illness Benefit. This pays for specific tests, doctor's visits and medicine.

Your care team revolves around you

Several people form part of your care team, ranging from healthcare professionals to friends and family. But the most important person on that team is you.

That's because:

  • You are the one making the day-to-day decisions about your diabetes management, such as when to take prescribed medicine, when to check your blood sugar, what food to make and eat, how often to exercise.
  • You matter most, as the more you know about your condition, the easier it will be for you to make informed decisions about the successful day-to-day management of diabetes - and the better your outcomes will be.
  • You are the one who can monitor your blood sugar daily and share the readings to tell your doctors if your current treatment is controlling your diabetes well.
  • You will also be the first to notice any problems. Your care team relies on you to tell them how you feel and if you're experiencing any unusual or concerning symptoms.

Who are the healthcare professionals on your Diabetes Care team?

There are several healthcare providers who play an important role in your Diabetes Care team.

  • Primary care provider: Your GP is your main contact and plays a central role in assessing your diabetes and helping you manage it. They will help you monitor your blood sugar measurements, prescribe necessary medicine, provide routine medical care and coordinate care with other members of your Diabetes Care team. They can refer you to any specialists you may need to see.
  • Endocrinologist: An endocrinologist specialises in hormone-related conditions, so they can give expert advice on diabetes management. You need a referral from your GP to see an endocrinologist.
  • Ophthalmologist or optometrist: People with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetes-related eye-diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, which can cause vision loss or blindness. Most of these diseases do not show early symptoms, which is why regular eye screening is important.
  • Podiatrist: Diabetes can cause nerve damage in the extremities (hands and feet), increasing your risk of foot ulcers and amputations. That's why foot care is important. A podiatrist will check your feet for any concerning signs.
  • Dietitian: Eating the right foods in the right way is key to successful diabetes management. A dietitian will work with you to develop a personalised healthy eating plan to suit your lifestyle, your diabetes type and stage, and your individual health needs.
  • Biokineticist: A biokineticist can help you with an exercise or movement plan designed to help you manage your diabetes.
  • Diabetes educator: A diabetes educator has comprehensive knowledge about and experience with diabetes management. They can give you a wide range of general information about diabetes - and they have the skills to help you to manage your diabetes in a way that fits in with your daily life.
    • Find out how Sister Kate Bristow, independent diabetes nurse educator, helps her patients to manage their condition.
  • Pharmacist: Your pharmacist can tell you more about the benefits of medicine, help you manage different medicines, and discuss possible side effects.
  • Dentist: If you have diabetes, you need to check your teeth and gums regularly. That's because increased sugar levels in your saliva increase your risk of tooth decay and gum diseases, and circulation around the gums can prevent healing. Make sure your dentist knows that you have diabetes when you visit.
  • Psychologist: It's as important to take care of your mental health as your physical health when you've been diagnosed with diabetes. A psychologist or trained counsellor can help you handle the lifestyle changes and emotional issues that come with diabetes, and manage stress - which isn't good for diabetes - better.


  • Family and friends: Your family and friends can give you day-to-day support, help you manage your emotional and physical health, and keep you motivated to take care of yourself.

For Diabetes Care members, the healthcare providers on your care team work together to optimise your care. It is vital to see members of your care team at least once a year, unless you've been advised to visit more frequently. These check-ins will help them to screen for and prevent or manage long-term complications.

How to find, grow and make the most of your care team

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, a Premier Plus GP can register you on the Chronic Illness Benefit and enrol you on the Diabetes Care programme, as long as you give them consent to do so. Members on KeyCare or Smart plans must be enrolled by a Premier Plus doctor who is also a participating GP in their plan's network (the KeyCare or Smart GP network).

The more information you can give your care providers with when you go for check-ups, the easier it will be for them to help you.

Write down questions and concerns to take with to your appointments, so that you can gather information that is relevant and helpful to you.

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Diabetes Care gives you extra help for diabetes

If you have diabetes, you have to keep measuring your blood sugar and taking your medicine. The Chronic Illness Benefit helps with the basics, but Diabetes Care gives you and your Premier Plus GP access to more tools and benefits to give you the best support and health outcomes.

Do you know how to get support to help control your diabetes?

Half of people living with diabetes don't know they have it. We know that more than 4.5 million adult South Africans have diabetes. 14 November is World Diabetes Day, now is the time to know your blood sugar. And if you have diabetes, we have the enhanced support and benefits to help you.

Need support for your diabetes, heart disease or long COVID? Access an online patient community through Discovery Health

Are you living with diabetes, heart disease or long COVID? Want to connect with others who are sharing the same experience by accessing an online community, for support, and relevant insights? Say hello to three new online patient communities, made accessible through Discovery Health and myHealthTeams, created with you and your best health in mind.

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