April 19, 2017

Diabetes Canada applauds the New Democrat Party’s campaign commitment ensuring insulin pump coverage for all British Columbians living with type 1 diabetes who are medically eligible, regardless of age.

“In British Columbia, it is estimated more than 1.4 million people are living with diabetes or prediabetes,” says Sheila Kern, regional director, British Columbia and Yukon for Diabetes Canada.  “We applaud the New Democrat Party and  urge all parties to support the expansion of the insulin pump program to British Columbians over age 25 with type 1 diabetes who are medically eligible.”

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and is found in five to 10 per cent of Canadians with diabetes.  It is often diagnosed in childhood and is lifelong disease requiring insulin to live.  Managing type 1 diabetes is a full-time commitment for children and adults in order to prevent or postpone devastating complications such as heart attack, blindness, stroke, kidney failure and amputations.

Diabetes is estimated to cost the British Columbia health-care system $418 million and is projected to increase to $595 million by 2027.  80 per cent of these costs are attributed to caring for the complications of the disease.  Expanding the insulin pump program will help British Columbians with type 1 diabetes to manage their disease while reducing the burden on the health-care system.  

Diabetes Canada also recommends enhancing access to diabetes medications to improve quality of life and decrease the likelihood of future interventions, which are often more costly and less effective. To ensure the health of people living with diabetes in province and the sustainability of the health-care system, Diabetes Canada urges all parties to make diabetes a priority during the upcoming provincial election.

You can learn more about the needs of British Columbians living with diabetes and how you can get involved by visiting diabetes.ca/votediabetesbc.

To request an interview, please contact:

Pilar Iglesias
Communications Manager
Diabetes Canada
P: 416-408-7114
pilar.iglesias@diabetes.ca