The Ontario PC Party was elected on June 7 to form government after earning a majority with 76 seats. With a new person being diagnosed with diabetes every six minutes in Ontario, Diabetes Canada is urging the government-elect to act quickly to address this life-threatening and costly epidemic.
“Diabetes Canada congratulates the Ontario PC Party on being elected to form government, and we look forward to working with all 124 candidates and their parties,” says Dr. Jan Hux, President of Diabetes Canada. “To keep their platform promises to improve patient care, ease the pressure on hospitals and reduce wait times, the next Government of Ontario must look to prevention and improved management of chronic diseases like diabetes.”
During the election, the party’s platform included pledges to invest $3.8 billion in mental health supports and to reduce wait times in hospitals – issues that impact many of the 4.3 million Ontarians with diabetes and prediabetes across the province.
Each year, there are thousands of unnecessary, preventable diabetes-related hospitalizations. The disease contributes to 30% of strokes, 40% of heart attacks, 50% of kidney failure requiring dialysis, and 70% of non-traumatic lower limb amputations every year, and is also a leading cause of vision loss. As well, about 30 per cent of people with diabetes have clinically-relevant symptoms of depression. People with depression have an increased risk of developing diabetes, and people with diabetes have an increased risk of developing depression.
“The prevalence rate of diabetes is expected to rise by 30 per cent in the next 10 years, and the province’s health care costs related to the disease is already estimated at $1.5 billion a year,” says Dr. Hux. “However, this doesn’t have to be our reality is urgent action is taken immediately by our elected representatives.”
Diabetes Canada calls on the next Government of Ontario to pledge action to support Ontarians with diabetes, and to commit to a renewed Ontario Diabetes Strategy with aggressive, measurable targets to address prevention, improved management and secondary complications. In addition, Ontarians with diabetes require equitable access to the medications, devices and supplies they require to best manage their diabetes.