A new Diabetes Charter for Canada helps people with diabetes get access to services.


Health Minister Ted Flemming says the charter will empower Canadians with diabetes and their caregivers. (CBC)

About one in 10 people in New Brunswick have the disease, with rising numbers every year.
More than nine million people in this country are living with diabetes and prediabetes but according to the Canadian Diabetes Association, many face uneven access to treatment, lack of public awareness, and social stigma.

Vanessa Godin has been living with diabetes for 16 years.
"There's always fears when you have a disease of this magnitude, that the medication might not be there or you can't afford it or the education might not be there,” said Godin. "Hopefully this will take all the fears away from the public."

The Diabetes Association has now unveiled a charter to set out the rights of diabetics and the responsibilities of governments to provide consistent treatment.

"If we can get out in front of this disease we can reduce the number of people that have it,” said  Health Minister Ted Flemming. “We’ll have better healthcare outcomes for operations, we’ll have shorter stays in the hospital and we’ll have less complications from routine procedures and things like that.”

Flemming says he isn't just concerned about keeping down the costs of diabetes, he's just been diagnosed himself.

"Nothing really resonates like it does when it hits home and you realize I'm not talking about other people anymore, I'm not talking about what people should do, it's what I have to do."