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Ontario Launches Diabetes Strategy

Archived News Release

Ontario Launches Diabetes Strategy

$741 Million Plan Will Make Patients Partners In Care

Ministry of Health

Ontario is investing $741 million in new funding on a comprehensive diabetes strategy over four years to prevent, manage and treat diabetes. 

The strategy includes an online registry that will enable better self-care by giving patients access to information and educational tools that empower them to manage their disease. The registry will also give health care providers the ability to easily check patient records, access diagnostic information and send patient alerts.  The registry is set to come online starting Spring 2009.

Other key elements of the strategy include :

  • Improving access to insulin pumps and supplies for more than 1300 adults with type 1 diabetes by funding these services for people over the age of 18.
  • Expanding chronic kidney disease services, including greater access to dialysis services.
  • Implementing a strategy to expand access to bariatric surgery. 
  • Educational campaigns to prevent diabetes by raising awareness of diabetes risk factors in high risk populations, such as the Aboriginal and South Asian communities.
  • Increasing access to team-based care closer to home by mapping the prevalence of diabetes across the province and the location of current diabetes programs in order to align services and address service gaps.

Ontario's diabetes strategy will help tackle a growing - and expensive - health care challenge. The number of Ontarians with diabetes has increased by 69 per cent over the last 10 years - and is projected to grow from 900,000 to 1.2 million by 2010. Treatment for diabetes and related conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease currently cost Ontario over $5 billion each year.

The strategy will support Ontario's two top health-care priorities of improving access to care and reducing emergency wait times.

Quick Facts

  • Diabetes puts people at risk for other serious health complications such as heart disease and stroke, kidney and eye disease and limb amputations.
  • A diabetes patient costs Ontario’s health care system over $3,000 in the first year of treatment. If the patient has complications this cost goes up to over $5,000.
  • For each patient that requires in-hospital dialysis, the cost to the Ontario health care system over the course of a year is more than $56,000.

Additional Resources


“Our plan will help Ontarians living with diabetes get better access to the care they need, when and where they need it. By improving the way we prevent, treat and manage diabetes, thousands of Ontarians will benefit from a better quality of life. The diabetes registry will change the way this disease is managed, ultimately saving more lives and easing hospital wait times.”

David Caplan

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“We will provide better access to information, programs and services to prevent people from getting diabetes in the first place. There is solid evidence that tells us that many cases of diabetes can be prevented by increasing daily physical activity and making healthy food choices.”

Margarett Best

Minister of Health Promotion

“The Canadian Diabetes Association applauds the Government of Ontario’s continued commitment to investing in a diabetes strategy for Ontarians. This new strategy will provide an estimated 900,000 Ontarians with diabetes the tools they require to effectively manage their disease.”

Cynthia Lees

Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Diabetes Association

“Doctors are working with their patients to help prevent the complications from chronic conditions such as diabetes. It is essential that patients who are living with diabetes are able to access the necessary treatment and resources to ensure they are able to manage their disease and stay healthy.”

Dr. Ken Arnold,

President, Ontario Medical Association

“The diabetes strategy takes the most up-to-date research and best practices from around the world and matches them with the needs of diabetes patients in Ontario. This will mean better care for diabetes patients across the province.”

Dr. Catherine Zahn

Chair, Diabetes Expert Panel

“Dietitians of Canada is pleased that the Ontario government is investing in a diabetes strategy. Healthy eating is a key factor for prevention and management of diabetes and improved access to registered dieticians gives Ontarians better support to manage their own care.”

Helen Haresign

Vice President Development, Dietitians of Canada



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