Diabetes Canada is pleased with the Manitoba government’s budget announcement that included expanding the age eligibility for the insulin pump program from 18 to 25 and will now fund Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) for children and youth under age 25.
“We applaud the government’s good step forward in recognizing the many challenges young Manitobans living with diabetes face,” says Joan King, Director of Provincial Government Relations, West for Diabetes Canada. “We encourage the government’s ongoing expansion of the age of eligibility for these important and often live-saving devices for Manitobans living with diabetes. Diabetes Canada acknowledges the Emergency Diabetes Support for Manitobans for its grassroots advocacy work to expand access to CGMs and pumps for eligible Manitoban, regardless of age.”
In Manitoba, there are more than 400,000 people living with diabetes or prediabetes and prevalence is predicted to increase to 488,000 in just 10 years. Diabetes also costs the health-care system $147 million, rising to $194 million by 2031. Eighty per cent of the costs of diabetes are related to caring for its complications, including kidney failure, stroke, heart attack, blindness and limb amputation.
“Although we had hoped the Manitoba government would follow in the footsteps of neighbouring provinces (Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario), and remove age discrimination from their pump program, increasing the age eligibility is a step in the right direction, adds King. “We hope the government will recognize the urgency and take swift action and to further support all people living with diabetes in the province.”
We look forward to the opportunity to work alongside the government to help implement plans and ensure timely access for those who are eligible and would benefit from the expansion of the pump program and CGM technology.
Diabetes Canada has also recommended the government commit to supporting a nation-wide diabetes strategy for Canada - Diabetes 360°. This is a coordinated, national approach to tackling the diabetes epidemic that is evidence-based and, when implemented, can help prevent millions of cases of diabetes and reduce hospitalizations.
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