P.E.I. to fund insulin pumps, Premier says

The Prince Edward Island government pledged Thursday to soon help fund insulin pumps, following a concerted lobbying in recent years by advocates on the Island.

Move comes after lobbying by diabetes association, push by Opposition

The Prince Edward Island government pledged Thursday to soon fund insulin pumps, following a concerted lobbying effort by advocates on the Island.

Premier Robert Ghiz told the legislature that an insulin pump program will be announced, at the latest, in the April budget.

That’s good news for local members of the Canadian Diabetes Association, who were on hand in the legislature Thursday and cheered.

The device delivers insulin to diabetics throughout the day so they don’t have to rely on injections.

"The benefits of the pump versus injections are simply it gives freedom," said Alisha Wolf, who has a child with diabetes.

"You're not pulling out needles, drawing up insulin, injecting yourself every time. So, there is one poke every three or four days."

P.E.I. is the last province in Canada to fund the devices, according to Opposition leader Steven Myers. The Opposition Tories introduced a motion Thursday calling for an insulin pump program. It got unanimous support in the legislature.

There are 600 Islanders who require insulin pumps. The cost for them all is about $400,000.

“Over the last number of years we've had some great meetings with the diabetic association with regards to insulin pumps,” Ghiz said.

Ghiz says the details are yet to be worked out. He said money will likely be for children only to start, and there will likely be an income threshold.

The Opposition weren't the only ones putting pressure on the government. This spring, Kathleen Romans started a petition, which garnered more than 1,600 signatures.

The pumps cost about $7,000 each, along with $300 a month in supplies.

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