People with diabetes spend longer in hospital and have a much higher risk of developing further complications.
According to a 2018 report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, diabetes death and hospitalisation rates were twice as high in remote areas, compared to major cities.
However, the evolving role of nurse practitioners is being credited with keeping diabetes patients who would normally present at a hospital in a crisis, out of emergency departments.
Through her role at the John Morris Diabetes Centre, nurse practitioner Sharon Johnson is helping to fill the gaps around better access to healthcare services and a more coordinated approach to complex chronic diseases.
With a caseload of more than 100 patients on her books, Ms Johnson said the holistic and patient-centred role was about ensuring a streamlined service and preventing readmission.
"I've had some people say that they have just never had this kind of service before," she said.
"They say 'where was this before when I needed it'. So I think it's something, when we look at it, there is definitely a gap there and that's where positions like this are so important.
"Because they ensure there is integration, they ensure there is really comprehensive care for patients, particularly around readmission."
Diabetes remains the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia. It is also expensive, with experts estimating that diabetic foot disease alone costs Australia around $875 million each year.
Since commencing her position in January last year, Ms Johnson has been working to engage diabetes patients who would normally "slip through the cracks" to take more control over managing their condition.
With greater demand for clinics, including a rapid access clinic aimed at providing people in hospital with a smooth transition back into the community, Ms Johnson said it was about ensuring the best care for every patient.
"For some people I think it's around that patient engagement," she said.
"We have many patients that just weren't being seen and now they are fully engaged with the service. They might be seeing a psychologist, as well as me and social supports. So it's not necessarily about one position, it's about how you interlink and how you make the most of the services you have around you."
About 5.5 per cent or about 29,000 Tasmanians, are living with diabetes. However, the number of people living with undiagnosed diabetes is believed to be as high as 50 per cent of the population, based on risk factors such as obesity and physical inactivity.
Sam Beattie, acting nurse unit manager of the John Morris Diabetes Centre, said the value health economics of a nurse practitioner could not be overstated.
"There's always been a gap here. While there is a multi-disciplinary team that does address diabetes ... we didn't have that nurse practitioner model," she said.
"Sharon has reduced waiting times for patients, substantially for high risk patients. The benefits of the role's flexibility, the efficiency, along with the economic benefit to the organisation and to the client. It's a win-win."
Ms Beattie said the nurse practitioner role was modelled around the concept of anticipatory care - identifying what a person's health needs will be in the future and addressing them now.
"What organisations are doing, is we are speaking to the Health Tasmania Five Year Strategic Plan," she said.
"That says we need to support people's chronic conditions to manager their conditions at home and in the community.
"So our model of nurse practitioner is around anticipatory care.
"To get people able to stay out of hospital with diabetes. Because if they end up in hospital, they stay longer and they get more complications.
"We want to keep them out of hospital and the nurse practitioner role does that."
Before coming to Tasmania, Ms Johnson was working as a clinical nurse consultant in Alice Springs, in Aboriginal health.
She said she had been surprised by the level of social disadvantage of patients presenting with diabetes and their level of disengagement with the health system.
"Some people can't read. Some are afraid of the medical system, because they have perhaps had bad experiences before. This position enables me to explore those issues," she said.
"A person might have lived with diabetes for a long time, but they don't understand what it actually is. It is difficult to actually manage something, when you don't understand it."