Ontario is facing a growing diabetes epidemic with the predicted trajectory for rates of the disease set to climb. Diabetes Canada and diabetes advocates across the province did not fail to notice the recent Ontario budget tabled by Finance Minister Vic Fedeli did not specifically include important measures or policies to address the growing burden of diabetes.
“The government needs to acknowledge that diabetes is an escalating epidemic in this province,” says Dr. Jan Hux, President and CEO for Diabetes Canada. “In the next decade, Ontario will face one of the highest increases in diabetes prevalence in comparison to all other provinces in Canada. We must act now to address this growing health crisis.”
Ten per cent of the provincial population or more than 1.5 million Ontarians already live with diabetes. The number of Ontarians affected by the disease is expected to rise to nearly 2 million (12 per cent) by 2029, Treating diabetes and its complications is currently estimated to cost the provincial health-care system $1.5 billion in direct costs. This direct cost to our health-care system is expected to rise to $2 billion by 2029, if more is not done to address the epidemic. Every six minutes, another person in Ontario is diagnosed with diabetes. Currently, there are more than 1.5 million Ontarians living with the disease.
Diabetes Canada and diabetes advocates strongly recommend the Government of Ontario implement a new provincial diabetes strategy focused on better prevention, screening and management. This will help mitigate the human toll of diabetes on families, employers and the alarming financial burden on the health care and economy of Ontario.
“The need for a provincial diabetes strategy has never been more urgent," says Dr. Hux. "Our discussions with the Ontario government will continue until the needs of all Ontarians affected by diabetes are met. To ease the pressure on hospitals and more efficiently use scarce health-care dollars, we must look to prevention and the improved management of diabetes. To stop this epidemic, we need a comprehensive diabetes strategy with aggressive, measurable goals.”
To meet the growing burden of diabetes in Ontario, advocates have also implored the government to publicly fund devices that help people with specific types of diabetes to optimally monitor and manage their blood glucose (sugar) levels, and enhance access to diabetes medications and supplies.
Diabetes Canada will continue to urge action to help stem the tide of diabetes in Ontario, ease the burden on the health-care system and improve health outcomes for Ontarians living with and affected by with diabetes.
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).
Author: Pilar Iglesias
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