Diabetes Canada hopeful 'investments in people's health' will be renewed

Diabetes Canada is calling on the P.E.I. government to renew and expand its diabetes strategy, which launched in 2014 and expired at the end of last year.

'You need to have the proper supports so you can take care of yourself'

The other three Atlantic provinces have already extended insulin pump coverage to age 25.

Diabetes Canada is calling on the P.E.I. government to renew and expand its diabetes strategy, which launched in 2014 and expired at the end of last year.

Under the strategy, the province began supporting the cost of insulin pumps for children up to the age of 18, and also providing free test strips for people who use insulin.

Jake Reid, senior leader of government relations for Diabetes Canada, wants to see a new strategy that would include more services for more people:

  • Raise the age for insulin pump support to 25.
  • Expand test strip program.
  • More help for women with gestational diabetes.
  • Preventative foot examinations for people with diabetes.
  • A strategy in schools for managing children with Type 1 diabetes.

"These are really investments in people's health. You can live well with diabetes," said Reid.

"But you need to have the proper supports so you can take care of yourself. It's a disease you can self-manage, but you need assistance, and that's where you need government help."

Reid said programs like foot examinations can prevent expensive and debilitating health problems, including amputation.

Much of what Diabetes Canada is proposing is already the practice in other parts of Canada, he said. All the other Atlantic provinces, for example, have insulin pump programs that cover people up to the age of 25, and strategies for managing children with Type 1 diabetes in schools.

When contacted by CBC News, Health PEI said it could provide a comment on the diabetes strategy Tuesday.

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With files from Malcolm Campbell