In 2021, the world is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin. From coast to coast to coast, Canadian governments are marking this proud Canadian achievement and taking steps to reduce the growing burden of this complex and costly disease.
But we must not only celebrate a revolutionary Canadian medical discovery; we must chart a path to reduce the burden of diabetes for the future. Even though insulin was discovered 100 years ago, it is still not a cure, and we are not at the finish line.
In the past year alone, we've seen several provinces embrace strategies aligned with a nation-wide diabetes strategy, Diabetes 3600, and offer enhanced coverage for key diabetes devices. This momentum is encouraging progress toward our shared goal of providing equitable access to prevention and treatments, and the prioritization of public education and care for downstream complications of diabetes. Diabetes Canada commends governments taking concrete actions to improve the lives of people living with diabetes during this milestone year.
Diabetes Canada reached out to all Federal/Provincial/Territorial governments across Canada to ask them how they plan to celebrate this important anniversary, and these are their responses (in no specific order):
Government of Nunavut
Revising the Chronic Disease Manual for the territory as it relates to diabetes.
Government of New Brunswick
Diabetes prevention and management is part of the province’s chronic disease strategy and action plan. Various topics are on the government's radar, such as evaluation of diabetes case managers, improvements to the insulin pump program and collaboration with partners in Atlantic Canada.
Government of Newfoundland & Labrador
In January 2021, the Provincial Government expanded access to the Insulin Pump Program. Full coverage is now available to children and youth up to 18 years old as well as individuals already in the program who are between the ages of 18 and 24 years old.
As of January 18, 2021, new, medically eligible clients entering the program, who are 18 years of age and older, will be financially assessed using an Income Test to determine if there will be any client contribution.
The promotion of other ongoing initiatives for 2021 include:
- The 811 Provincial Healthline expanded in 2018 to include dietitian services.
- Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM): Eastern Health’s RPM program implemented Diabetes programming in 2017 to provide equitable access to education, monitoring, management and support of patients living with type 2 diabetes.
- BETTER Program (Building on Existing Tools to Improve Chronic Disease Prevention and Screening in Primary Care) approach. A Prevention Practitioner meets in a tailored, one-on-one visit with adults aged 40-65 years to improve prevention and screening activities.
Government of Alberta
Beginning in 2021, the Diabetic Foot Care Clinical Pathway (DFCCP) is increasing the rates of timely foot assessment in patients with diabetes. This will decrease the prevalence of diabetes foot ulcers and the prevalence/severity of lower limb amputations. In addition, with the adoption of a tailored DFCCP pathway in Alberta’s Indigenous communities, there will be an increased focus on preventing diabetic foot ulcers and improvements in the early detection and treatment of diabetes-related foot problems in Alberta’s Indigenous communities, thereby reducing the need for amputations.
The Diabetes, Obesity and Nutrition Strategic Clinical Network (DON SCN) continues to look for ways to deliver care that will provide better quality, better outcomes and better values for every Albertan. The DON SCN’s 2021-2024 Transformational Roadmap will see Alberta continue to focus on three strategic domains:
- Prevent the onset and progression of diabetes, obesity, and malnutrition;
- Empower patients and providers to better manage diabetes, obesity, and malnutrition to live well and long; and
- Transform the health care system through research, surveillance, and partnerships.
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About Diabetes Canada
Diabetes Canada is the registered national charitable organization that is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Diabetes Canada partners with Canadians to End Diabetes through:
- Resources for health-care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
- Advocacy to governments, schools and workplaces; and
- Funding world-leading Canadian research to improve treatments and find a cure.
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