If you, your friends, or your family are living in NL, please consider forwarding the following email to the prebudget committee before Feb 25th. We need to keep and ideally expand our insulin pump program.
The email address for the committee, the Minister of Health, and the two opposition party leaders are noted. Please also cc your MHA.
To the Honorable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Finance;
Every day over 2700 people in Newfoundland and Labrador inject themselves with an external source of insulin because they live with Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body no longer produces the life sustaining hormone insulin. Without insulin, human beings are not able to turn the food they eat into energy and they die.
It is vital that the government of Newfoundland and Labrador make it a priority to ensure the health and safety of these residents in the upcoming 2013 budget.
Type 1 diabetes is an often misunderstood disease that can rob a person of his independence, quality of life, and her very existence. People with diabetes are 65% more likely to have a heart attack than their cohorts and approximately 25% of those living with type 1 diabetes will go on to development renal failure within 25 years of diagnosis regardless of age. The costs of treating these complications are between $21,000 and $190,000.
These figures dramatically decrease when insulin pump therapy is used. Intensive control has been shown to reduce micro vascular complications by between 43-84% while reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease by 42% and they decrease their chances of renal failure by 40%. Intensive control is best achieved through the use of an insulin pump. A 2009 article which looked at insulin pump therapy versus the use of multiple daily injections over the past 30 years, found that not only were pumps more cost effective than injections but they also decreased the risk of complications by 20%.
As this government is looking for cost saving measures and the most effective way to spend our tax dollars, I would urge you Mr. Minister to seriously look at the overall benefits of this province’s insulin pump program on the health care system as well as the program’s ability to generate a greater tax base.
Again, people with diabetes are more likely to develop heart disease, renal failure, eye disease, and have lower limb amputations. As previously noted, insulin pump therapy dramatically reduces and delays this happening in people with Type 1 diabetes. Not only does an insulin pump program save health care dollars but it also improves quality of life and allows people with Type 1 diabetes to lead full and active lives. This means that they are more able to be involved in the labour force rather than forced onto disability programs.
Currently, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador ceases covering insulin pump coverage for those young adults over 25. This has a further impact on our workforce and tax base. As noted in the Newfoundland and Labrador Labor Market: Outlook 2020 report, those under 29 years of age have the highest level of out migration from this province than any other age bracket. At 25, those living with diabetes often have to move to Alberta where they can earn higher wages to cover the high costs of life with diabetes or move to Ontario where they may qualify to have some of their supply costs covered. This is not acceptable.
As the Canadian Diabetes Association noted in its report in December of 2012, “when looking at direct healthcare and indirect cost savings from reduced complications, mortality, and disability associated with diabetes, expanding the insulin pump program will reduce the next cost to an estimated $400,000 in 2012 for a savings of approximately $300,000 and a $1.3 million savings by 2032.”
How can the government of Newfoundland and Labrador reduce spending? They can protect our residents with Type 1 diabetes by ensuring the longevity of the insulin pump program. They can reduce outmigration by including all people living with Type 1 diabetes who are using an insulin pump. They can reduce the burden on the health care system by promoting a therapy that keeps its residents with Type 1 diabetes healthy, alive and out of our hospitals.
Thank you for your time.
Well written!! I am attempting to get the BC government to see the same thing. Sometimes they are so short sighted. Good luck!! BJ
Thank you!! I agree completely.
Canadian Diabetes Association Advocates from BC are meeting in Vancouver March 1 , 2 because of the upcoming BC Election May 14 .I as an attendee plan to mention your NL and Lab concerns , which some are aware off through communication from you Barb and others . Allow me to add this link as it maybe useful to those living in one of my other fav.'s provinces : NF and Lab !!! http://www.fin.gov.nl.ca/fin/prebudget/ to connect with the Government's Reps