Diabetes Canada supports the positive health announcements in the Nova Scotia provincial budget that will assist people living with diabetes. As a province where rates are some of the highest in the country, it is vital to recognize diabetes as a significant health challenge that requires attention and focus.
“We commend the government’s investment in collaborative care management as diabetes care should always be organized this way—around the person living with diabetes who is practicing self-management and is supported by an inter-professional health-care team with specific training in diabetes,” says Lisa Matte, regional director for Diabetes Canada, Atlantic. “We further acknowledge the recent pre-budget investment of a health coaching project for African Nova Scotians and will continue to work with government and partners to promote positive changes and improved health.”
Some notable health items referenced in the budget included:
- $3.2 million to increase food budgets and enhance recreational programming for residents in long-term care facilities;
- $2 million to create and begin to implement a plan to address poverty in Nova Scotia;
- advancing plans for satellite dialysis units at hospitals in Bridgewater, Kentville, Digby and Glace Bay, and expanding dialysis services in Halifax and Dartmouth;
- $3.2 million to enhance mental health programs; and
- $7.9 million to meet the needs of Nova Scotians age 65 and older enrolled in the Seniors Pharmacare Program.
“It is good to see the investment in services, such as mental health programs and kidney dialysis since we know that diabetes is a leading cause of kidney disease and many people living with diabetes are at greater risk of mental illness,” says Jake Reid, senior leader of government relations for Diabetes Canada. “With diabetes rates being what they are in Nova Scotia, it’s clear that we need a provincial diabetes strategy to work on the upstream causes of both diabetes and poor management of diabetes that can lead to serious complications.”
There are currently more than 337,000 Nova Scotians living with diabetes (type 1 and type 2) or prediabetes. Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease often diagnosed in childhood, is found in five to 10 per cent of Canadians with diabetes. Of those living with prediabetes, 50 per cent will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in their lifetime.
“Diabetes and related complications are a leading health concern in the province, therefore, a comprehensive diabetes strategy is urgently needed,” added Reid.
While not indicated in the budget, Diabetes Canada looks forward to working with political parties to ensure a provincial diabetes strategy is part of their election commitments for the health of Nova Scotians.
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