New Democrats welcome extension of insulin pump coverage to young adults with Type 1 diabetes

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Official opposition first proposed measure in 2011, also was part of New Democrat election platform

VANCOUVER— New Democrat leader Adrian Dix welcomed today’s announcement that young adults with Type 1 diabetes will be eligible for insulin pump coverage – a measure he first proposed in 2011 and was part of the New Democrats’ recent election platform.

“Today’s announcement will have demonstrable effect on the lives, and health of young adults who are dealing with this chronic disease.  Many of them are, at this stage in their life, still pursuing post-secondary education and becoming established in their careers.

“As a result, young people with Type 1 diabetes who rely on an insulin pump to manage their diabetes are not in financial position to afford the significant cost of this medical device and related supplies,” said Dix.

New Democrat health critic Judy Darcy also praised the decision, noting that it will also generate savings for the overall health care system.

“Preventing disruptions to how these young adults manage this chronic disease lowers the risk of other serious complications arising later.  This means fewer emergency room visits, acute care hospitalizations, and treatments for secondary chronic diseases related to insufficient diabetes management,” explained Darcy.

According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, complications from diabetes account for 80 per cent of diabetes costs incurred by the health care system.

Dix also helped advocate for insulin pump coverage for children with Type 1 diabetes, which the Liberal government subsequently introduced in 2008.

Darcy and Dix also hope that Health Minister Terry Lake will call on the legislature’s  Standing Committee on Health to develop an enhanced, comprehensive diabetes plan for the province.

“Our province is expecting a significant rise in diabetes cases, Type 1 and Type 2, during this decade.  This necessitates developing a plan that helps stem this rising rate, and reduce the burden of illness for people who are diagnosed,“ explained Darcy.