Ontario Funds Free Insulin Pumps for Adults
McGuinty Government Moving Forward on Diabetes Strategy
Each year, over 1300 adults with type 1 diabetes will receive free insulin pumps under a new Ontario program that begins in September.
The government will pay 100 per cent of the price - $6,300 - for an insulin pump, as well as provide an annual grant of $2,400 to help pay for supplies.
The Adult Insulin Pump Program is part of the government's $741 million comprehensive strategy to prevent, manage and treat diabetes which was announced in July. The diabetes strategy supports Ontario's top two health-care priorities of improving access to care and reducing emergency wait times by helping to keep Ontarians healthier.
An insulin pump is a small battery-operated device about the size of a pager that is worn on a belt or in a pocket. The device substitutes for self-injections by pumping insulin into the body through a catheter (or a thin tube and very fine needle) inserted under the skin. The catheter is changed regularly, usually two or three times a week.
Applications for insulin pumps and supplies can be made through registered diabetes education centres throughout Ontario. Each centre's program has a multidisciplinary team of health professionals to determine eligibility for an insulin pump as well as to assist in completing the application form. Once registered, the teams provide ongoing care and support.
- An estimated 45,000 – 90,000 Ontarians live with type 1 diabetes.
- The number of Ontarians with diabetes has increased by 69 per cent over the last 10 years and is projected to grow to 1.2 million from 900,000 by 2010.
- Treatment for diabetes and related conditions such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease currently cost Ontario over $5 billion each year.
“Covering the cost of insulin pumps for adult Ontarians with type 1 diabetes is a crucial component of our diabetes strategy. By improving the way we prevent, treat and manage diabetes, thousands of Ontarians will benefit from a better quality of life.”
“Expanding the insulin pump program to include eligible adults ensures continuity of therapy to type 1 diabetics beyond the age of 19, and guarantees these patients the necessary options for effective diabetes care.”
Dr. Bruce Perkins