Today, the Ontario Liberal Party announced a renewed commitment to the Ontario Diabetes strategy, through the creation of a proposed Diabetes Centre of Excellence which they state will bring leading health care experts together and build on cutting-edge research to better understand this chronic disease and determine the best ways to prevent, manage and treat it.
“The Ontario Liberal Party’s response to our call for a Diabetes Strategy and recognition of diabetes as an urgent health care challenge for millions across Ontario is a positive move forward,” says Dr. Jan Hux, President of Diabetes Canada. “Every six minutes in Ontario another person is diagnosed with diabetes, and the prevalence of diabetes in our province is expected to increase by 30 per cent over the next 10 years.
“However, this doesn’t have to be the reality if urgent action is taken. There’s a large role for the next provincial government to play in the prevention and improved management of diabetes in our communities.”
Diabetes Canada has been calling on all parties and candidates 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, as well as enhanced access to the medications, devices and supplies.
Diabetes contributes to 30 per cent of strokes, 40 per cent of heart attacks, 50 per cent of kidney failure requiring dialysis, and 70 per cent of non-traumatic lower limb amputations every year and is a leading cause of vision loss. For many people with diabetes, adherence to treatment is affected by cost, which puts them at higher risk for developing these complications.
“Working-aged adults generally have access to the least amount of public drug coverage in Ontario, which is an issue for people already struggling to pay for rent or food,” says Dr. Hux. “For people who use multiple daily injections of insulin, their annual out-of-pocket costs can be as high as $2,300, and potentially thousands of dollars more depending on the technology they need to prevent emergencies.”
An estimated 1 in 3 Ontarians lives with diabetes or prediabetes – approximately 4.3 million people in total – with direct public health care costs estimated at $1.5 billion for this year alone. More information on Diabetes Canada’s advocacy priorities may be found at diabetes.ca/VoteDiabetesON