From the Chronicle Herald:

Nova Scotia's deputy minister of health says the province has no plans to fund insulin pumps for young diabetics.

Kevin McNamara told the legislature's public accounts committee today that the Health Department has done an assessment and received advice not to proceed based on existing programs and other funding priorities.

Katherine Fraser, director of acute and tertiary care, says program funding would also be needed to train support staff at the province's 39 diabetes care centres.

Fraser says provincial figures show there are 705 people under the age of 19 who suffer from diabetes in a province where 80,000 people have been diagnosed with the disease.

The Opposition Liberals have introduced several bills in recent years calling on the province to fund an insulin pump program for juvenile diabetes.

Insulin pumps monitor and regulate insulin levels while delivering the drug at a steady rate to suit a patient's need.

They can cost about $6,000 or more each

http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/42723-ns-government-wont-fu...

Tags: coverage, funding, insulin pump, news that sucks, nova scotia, pump, pump funding, type 1 diabetes

Views: 238

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The Chronicle-Herald followed up on the insulin pump funding story by publishing a very good editorial a few days later . . .

PUMPS VS. PENSIONS

Priorities, please

THE PROVINCE won’t be covering the cost of insulin pumps for people with Type 1 diabetes, the deputy minister of health told a legislature committee shortly before the House rose for Christmas. He says the $3.8-million expense can’t be justified.

Proponents of the coverage say the pumps can make a huge difference for young patients. But Kevin McNamara says the conventional method of injecting insulin provides "adequate services to youth at an affordable price."

To fund the more expensive pump devices, he said, "we have to consider any expenditure against other priorities."

Is anyone else as fed up as we are with hearing "we must consider other priorities" in matters of patient care, when that test isn’t applied to all government spending?

Where, for example, were "other priorities" the day before Mr. McNamara spoke, when members of all three parties agreed to adopt most of a panel’s report on MLA pensions?

That new pension deal is not as (sickeningly) sweet as the boondoggle it replaces. But it still leaves MLAs with far better defined benefits, at far lower cost to themselves, than the provisions of the general civil service pension plan.

Indefensibly, MLAs will continue to have two pension plans, so their total benefits can accrue at a faster rate than the maximum allowed by Canada Revenue for registered plans. The second, unregistered, plan is entirely funded by taxpayers because members apparently won’t make contributions that aren’t tax deductible.

Did the House instruct the pension panel to weigh "other priorities" before recommending this sweetheart deal? Did MLAs consider "other priorities" in accepting this gift to themselves?

No they did not. "Other priorities" come into play when you’re setting one group of sick people against another. But not when it comes to paying 100 per cent of uniquely generous benefits to MLAs.

There’s no deputy minister telling them to join the regular public service pension plan and be content, like child diabetics, with "adequate services at an affordable price."

Here’s a priorities test for MLAs: In your next session, hold a free vote on giving up your second freebie pension and directing the savings toward insulin pumps for Type 1 diabetics.

As priorities go, it’s not a tough call.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/editorials/46614-pumps-vs-pensions

Thanks HFXNS for the media update !!
I promise to get my letter out to the NS Government soon ...I copied and pasted, what I wrote to my ( BC ) MLA recently ...will add same to letter .

“ Fewer Lows - with precise, timely insulin doses you can reduce your episodes of hypoglycemia by up to 85%.
Stay Healthy Long Term - Reduce your risk of long-term complications from diabetes with an insulin pump.
Eye damage may be reduced by up to 76%
Nerve damage may be reduced by up to 60%
Kidney damage may be reduced by up to 56%
Cardiovascular damage may be reduced by up to 42%
Predictable, Fast-Acting Insulin - Traditional, long-acting insulin can create a "depot" under the skin with less predictable absorption rates - and unpredictable highs and lows. Insulin pumps use only rapid-acting insulin, which is absorbed with more predictability so you can deliver smaller, more precise doses of insulin when that's all your body needs “ .

With help from other advocates input ( Barb , HFXNS , Dianna from Facebook ) a letter to N.S. Government :
January 25, 2012.

Dear Honourable Maureen MacDonald
Minister of Health and Wellness,

I am living at the other side of our beautiful country in BC As a person with diabetes I have to work as hard to maintain relatively normal blood sugars as living anywhere else.
I call it a prevention strategy ; I am totally aware , that if I do not take care of my daily management I will be at great risk , hence my request to reconsider supplying insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors to those who would greatly benefit in your Province . Those people, who do not have Employer sponsored paid coverage are my concern
My question to you is how much taxpayer’s money is being paid out on pumps and supplies to provincial Civil Servants , such as Teachers, Police officers , Firemen , etc. and their spouses and children ?
About half of the 2,900 Nova Scotians with type 1 diabetes pay for their own pumps , have private insurance or get assistance through programs such as the Emily Fund at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, according to Health and Wellness Department Staff .

I am living with type 1 diabetes since Jan. 1983 and held a managerial position in a Hospital Food Service department for 15 years. Stress caused me to decide to step down in 1986 and found a job in retail with a minimum pay rate and no Health Benefits.
Looking back, if an insulin pump had been available to me, I would have been able to continue the position I trained for much longer.
The big issue I had to test my blood sugar level and eat due to insulin working at it’s peak when everyone else ( Patients and Staff )were being served and my Supervisory job was not performed to my best capabilities. I want to note, that I am not a person, who lives in the past, however felt it worth sharing with you. Wearing an insulin pump since 2001 and a Continuous Glucose Monitor since 2006 has helped enriched my life and I am capable of doing things, which most 72 year olds would not dream off..
I am complication free because of due diligence for all the years living with diabetes
(29 years) and using tools available to me.

Following some statistics worth noting:

“ Fewer Low Blood sugars - with precise, timely insulin doses you can reduce your episodes of hypoglycemia by up to 85%.
Stay Healthy Long Term - Reduce your risk of long-term complications from diabetes
with an insulin pump.
Eye damage may be reduced by up to 76%
Nerve damage may be reduced by up to 60%
Kidney damage may be reduced by up to 56%.

2
The cost of hemodyalisis can be as much as $263,000 per year.
Cardiovascular damage may be reduced by up to 42%
I can provide more statistics on the subject.

Predictable, Fast-Acting Insulin - Traditional, long-acting insulin can create a "depot" under the skin with less predictable absorption rates - and unpredictable highs and lows. Insulin pumps use only rapid-acting insulin, which is absorbed with more predictability so you can deliver smaller, more precise doses of insulin when that's all your body needs.
In the past ten years, there has also been an increase in the use of Continuous Glucose Monitors. These devices are also attached to patients with diabetes on a 24/7 basis and provide real-time blood glucose readings. They are used to track trends in blood glucose levels and warn patients of impending hyper- or hypoglycaemic events. In some cases, they are even able to “talk” to the insulin pump and thus mark the early stages of an artificial pancreas.
It would do any Government well to “ Focus less on treating illness and more on preventing sickness “…Pay one dollar now , save 4 dollars later .

Respectfully submitted,

Petronella ( Nel ) W. Peach , person with type 1 diabetes , diagnosed at age 42 plus.
( I deleted my address , phone number )
Copy:

Honourable Darell Dexter ,
Premier .

Honourable Graham Steele,
Finance Minister .

Honourable Diane Whalen,
Health Critic .

.

Nel, thank you so much for writing to our stubborn Nova Scotia government and posting the letter here. I am very grateful that you have chosen to speak out for type 1s in Nova Scotia, even though you live on the other side of the country!

I hope you get a response from someone in the government. Your letter provides some very good information for them to consider. Thanks again.

Thank you for your kind words HFXNS ...you probably heard about this one as posted on FB today by Advocate Barb Wagstaff http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/02/07/ns-girl-... In my mind :some of the responses are questionable , will carry on with sharing our diabetes experiences !

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