Free insulin pumps offered to diabetics in Alberta
$7,000 pumps will give diabetics a chance at a more normal life, says parent
The Alberta government will pay for insulin pumps and supplies for eligible people with Type 1 diabetes beginning next week.
The $7,000 pumps, which have to be replaced every five years, automatically inject insulin into a person when needed.
Parent Melanie Hibbard said having a pump means she won't have to wake her two sons, who both have Type 1 diabetes, in the night to check their blood sugar levels.
"They can sleep through the night. I can sleep through the night," she said. "It's been 10 years and for us to have freedom, it's huge and for them to have freedom.
"They've never been able to have a sleepover. They can't just go to a birthday party. We have to go there and make sure they have their needle."
The pumps will also make it easier for her sons to participate in sports, she says.
"Every time I go to play sports ... we have to eat and then in the middle sometimes, we have to stop playing and take a poke and we have to sit out for a bit if we're low and eat some more," said 14-year-old Connor.
The province will cover the cost of basic diabetic supplies under a new Insulin Therapy Program.
The program is expected to cost the province $8.5 million each year.
About 30,000 people in Alberta have Type 1 diabetes.