Today, Health and Long-Term Care Minister Eric Hoskins made an announcement that will benefit Ontarians living with diabetes, specifically in the area of foot-care and amputation prevention. According to the government release, the province is:
- covering the cost of specialized casts to provide more support for patients with diabetic foot ulcers;
- working closely with delivery partners so access to devices is easy and at eligible locations;
- supporting wound care training and education for health care workers; and
- funding $8 million over three years
“Amputations are one of the most feared consequences of diabetes. Diabetes Canada recognizes the Government of Ontario’s leadership in providing public funding for offloading devices, which treat diabetic foot ulcers and prevent amputations,” says Amanda Thambirajah, director of government relations in Ontario for Diabetes Canada. “We encourage the Government of Ontario to continue working on this issue by ensuring timely access to medical devices, inter-professional health care and education, and encourage other provinces to follow Ontario’s leadership in helping Canadians living with diabetes with their foot-care.”
Durham resident Matt Anderson understands the need for this type of support having undergone amputations as a result of diabetes foot complications. "I've been a plant Superintendent in automotive manufacturing for the last 23 years and my amputations and reoccurring ulcers have changed the way I live my life, my future career path, basically how I go about my day every single day. I know how important these devices are for people suffering from foot ulcers and complications.”
Every four hours, there is one amputation in Ontario as a result of a diabetic foot ulcer that did not heal properly. Across Ontario, between 16,000 and 28,000 diabetic foot ulcers occur annually.
In 2017, more than 1.7 million people in Ontario are living with diabetes, and the number is expected to grow to 2.4 million people by 2027. The increasing rate of diabetes and its complications pose a serious burden on the province’s publicly funded health-care system and our economy.
According to Diabetes Canada's previous report, diabetic foot ulcers impose direct health-care costs of $320-400 million and indirect costs of $35-60 million in Ontario.
Diabetes Canada has been working with Wounds Canada, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and the Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy to advocate for proper foot care services and supports for people with diabetes.
Read more in a joint response from the Registered Nurses' Association, Diabetes Canada, Wounds Canada and the Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy.
For more information about proper foot care and general tips, please visit here.
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.
For more information, visit diabetes.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).