Federal plan to improve access to diabetes care introduced in House of Commons – National | Pro IQRA News

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The federal government tabled a long-awaited plan in the House of Commons to improve access to diabetes treatment and prevention in Canada, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announced Wednesday.

The framework is intended to ensure that diabetes patients across Canada will have equal access to care and treatment, and addresses higher complications for Indigenous people.

Liberal MP Sonia Sidhu called for the framework as part of a private member’s bill that became law in 2021.

At the time, Diabetes Canada advocated for some sort of national vision to address the growing disease epidemic.

“The framework means that Canada will have a coordinated response to diabetes that will improve health outcomes for everyone,” Sidhu said at a press conference with the health minister on Wednesday.

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Diabetes prevents the natural production or use of insulin in the body, which in turn prevents the regulation of glucose in the blood. It is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and amputation of the lower limbs.

According to the private member’s bill, the framework should outline the training, education and guidance that health professionals need to promote the treatment and prevention of diabetes, including new clinical practice guidelines.

The act says the government will ensure that the Canada Revenue Agency administers the disability tax credit fairly and in a way that helps as many people with diabetes as possible.

It will also address research, surveillance and data collection, Sidhu said.

Advocates for diabetes patients have for years lamented the lack of federal vision on the disease.

“There’s really the gap to have an overall playbook or framework, and then (there are) gaps to measure progress against that by providing data,” Laura Syron, president of Diabetes Canada, said in an interview Wednesday.

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A federal strategy was established in 1999, but then absorbed into a larger strategy to address chronic disease in 2005.

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“The longer we delay coordinated efforts with targeted outcomes, the more diabetes incidence will increase and the more Canadians will experience its tragic complications,” said Dr. Jan Hux, then president of Diabetes Canada, said in a statement in 2019.

Since then, the incidence of diabetes and prediabetes in Canada has grown by 6.5 per cent, according to statistics released by Diabetes Canada, and the annual cost of treating the disease has grown to $30 billion.

There were 5.7 million people with diagnosed diabetes by March 2022 and a further five million who experienced prediabetes – a condition which, if not managed, can develop into type 2 diabetes.

“I am a person living with type 2 diabetes, so I can tell you with confidence that this framework has the potential to change the lives of millions of people like me living with diabetes and those who care for them. transform,” Syron said at the press conference.

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The strategy will serve as a road map for provincial health systems and outline what diabetes treatment and prevention should look like in Canada, she said.

She is particularly interested in starting a conversation about reducing stigma around diabetes, which research has shown makes people less likely to take their medication and harms patients’ quality of life.

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Now that the framework is in place, she said her organization will start pushing the federal government to dedicate funding to it in the next budget.

The government is also talking to Indigenous groups to address diabetes in First Nations, Inuit and Metis populations, Duclos said.

“We also know that Indigenous peoples are diagnosed with diabetes at a younger age, and tend to have more severe symptoms and have more difficulty accessing appropriate health care services, and therefore face a greater risk of complications and experience poorer treatment outcomes,” Duclos said.

The federal government is also funding the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative to address the disproportionate risks Indigenous people face from the disease. The initiative aims to deliver primary prevention, screening and treatment programs with the help of First Nations and provincial and territorial governments.

-With files from Global News

© 2022 The Canadian Press


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