P.E.I. Budget fails to mention investments for provincial diabetes strategy
While the recent Prince Edward Island (PEI) budget tabled by Finance Minister Allen Roach is being described as balanced, it will be more of a balancing act for Islanders shouldering the personal costs of diabetes management.
“More needs to be done to help alleviate the individual burden of diabetes for Islanders, particularly in a province where the number of people diagnosed annually is escalating and showing no signs of slowing down,” says Jake Reid, senior leader of government relations for Diabetes Canada. “We requested government action on several issues, including expansion of coverage of blood glucose test strips, to ensure all Islanders with diabetes have needed strips for optimal diabetes management. The provincial diabetes strategy needs investment for key initiatives”
In the previously released 2016 Report on Diabetes on PEI Diabetes Canada revealed the latest data on diabetes in the province and called for action to support those living with the disease. Along with the coverage of blood glucose test strips, Diabetes Canada urged the government to develop and implement a policy to ensure students are supported with diabetes management at school; and expand the financial coverage for insulin pumps and supplies to all individuals with type 1 diabetes, regardless of age.
“PEI is the only province in Atlantic Canada that does not have a policy or guidelines to keep children with type 1 diabetes safe in school,” says Reid. "The recent PEI budget speech made a commitment to student well-being and Diabetes Canada is hopeful this will include support for those kids who are living with diabetes, and a policy in time for the new school year."
Diabetes Canada was pleased to see the government investment into mental health and addictions in the recent budget. People with diabetes are at greater risk of mental illness and there should be systems and supports in place to ensure those living with mental illness have access to the care they need to live a healthy life with the disease.
Currently, there are an estimated 50,500 people living with diabetes or prediabetes. That number is expected to grow to 62,300 in the next 10 years.