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Diabetes Canada disappointed federal budget didn't include funds for national strategy

Last Updated Mar 20, 2019 at 3:47 pm PDT

(File Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The government has missed a critical opportunity. That’s the message is coming from Diabetes Canada, in response to the federal government’s budget, which does not include funding for a new national strategy.

Diabetes Canada president and CEO Dr. Jan Hux says there’s a huge sense of urgency. “The number of Canadians diagnosed with diabetes has doubled in the last 12 years. Another person is diagnosed every three minutes.”

“We estimate the current costs — direct, attributable costs — of diabetes are in the order of $28 billion. A 20-year-old in Canada now faces a 50/50 lifetime risk of developing diabetes,” she said.

Hux says the organization was asking for $150 million over seven years to implement its strategy, which she argues would lead to 90 per cent of Canadians living in environments that prevent the development of diabetes.

“Ninety per cent of Canadians [would] be aware of their diabetes status and — for those affected — 90 per cent of them would receive treatment. And of those receiving treatment, 90 per cent would be showing measurable improvements in their health outcome.”

She admits there are some items in the federal budget that are of benefit to people with diabetes. “Most noteably, changes to the application of the registered disability fund, so people could actually retain access to those funds after turning 21. That is encouraging for people living with Type 1 Diabetes, in particular, who face very high out-of-pocket costs.”