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Ontario Diabetes Strategy

Archived Backgrounder

Ontario Diabetes Strategy

Ministry of Health

The province is committed to providing Ontarians with diabetes, and those at risk, with more supports and services to help them stand up to diabetes.

Diabetes Targets

Ontario has set targets and is tracking progress in its fight against diabetes: These targets include:

  • Ensuring all people with diabetes have access to a primary health care provider
  • Ensuring that 80 per cent of people with diabetes, aged 18 and older have all three diabetes tests, cholesterol, a retinal eye exam and the HbA1C test (a measure of blood sugar control) within the recommended guideline period for optimal diabetes management. Making sure people with diabetes get all three tests helps doctors ensure that their patients are properly managing the disease
  • Having 35 per cent of all dialysis patients receive their dialysis at home
  • Ensuring that the Insulin Pumps and Supplies Program for Adults meets its target of 1,342 new approved applicants for funding for insulin pumps and supplies
  • Increasing the number of annual bariatric surgeries to 2,085 a year by 2011/2012.

 Diabetes Teams

The ministry will be providing funding for 51 new diabetes education teams across the province, including 11 in Aboriginal communities. The teams consist primarily of a registered nurse and a dietitian who work with family physicians and other diabetes care experts like chiropodists, physiotherapists and social workers, to help individuals better manage their diabetes and avoid diabetes-related complications.

Chronic Kidney Disease

Ontario is expanding dialysis services in hospitals, community-based facilities, long-term care homes, complex continuing care and home-based dialysis care.  Funding will support 5,000 additional clinic visits for care and prevention of chronic kidney condition, dialysis treatment for nearly 500 additional patients, and home dialysis for an additional 310 patients.

A person on dialysis would need dialysis treatment at least three times a week and treatment can last from three to four hours in a health care facility. Home dialysis means that individuals can manage their disease at home, while maintaining their quality of life.

Insulin Pump and Supplies for Adults

On December 1, 2006 the Ministry implemented the Insulin Pump and Supplies Program for Children. On September 1, 2008 the children's program was expanded to include adults 19 years of age or over with type 1 diabetes who met the program's medical eligibility criteria. Just like the children's program, approved adults receive funding assistance for their insulin pump and related supplies. To be eligible, individuals must be assessed at a Diabetes Education Program.  Since April 1, 2009, over 1,500 individuals have benefited from the program, exceeding the government's target of 1,342.

Bariatric Surgery

Ontario is implementing a bariatric treatment network in Ontario to increase access to bariatric services for morbidly obese patients. The network expands upon existing centres of excellence, establishes new centres, and provides training to providers to support ongoing treatment of bariatric patients.

Comprehensive care for morbidly obese patients is offered in a variety of settings across the province and will range from nutrition counselling and assessment to surgery and post-surgery supports. To date, four Bariatric Centres of Excellence and one Regional Assessment and Treatment Centre have been established with a target of over 1,100 surgeries this year and over 2,000 by 2012. This expansion will increase capacity by more than 750 per cent over three years.

Regional Coordination Centres

Up to 14 Regional coordination centres will organize and coordinate regional diabetes programs. These centres will leverage local resources and existing expertise to ensure integration of diabetes services across the continuum of care, from prevention to primary and tertiary care, so that individuals living with, or at risk of developing diabetes have access to the services they need.

Patient Education Kits

Patient education kits, which include fact sheets and educational videos, have been developed for newly diagnosed diabetes patients. These kits are available in a number of languages and contain information on topics that affect people with diabetes, including: healthy eating and foot care to managing stress. These kits will be available to newly diagnosed patients through their primary care providers.

Diabetes Prevention

Ontario is developing three pilot diabetes prevention programs for groups at highest risk for diabetes. The Toronto, Peel and Northwestern Health Units -- all of which have high rates of diabetes -- will be working with community partners to develop pilot programs.

The province is also enhancing EatRight Ontario with culturally adapted and translated diabetes resources, extended evening call centre hours and a new online menu planner.  The service provides access to a registered dietician for guidance on healthy eating and nutrition.


The province is launching a new Stand Up to Diabetes website to provide Ontarians with timely, relevant information on diabetes. The website can be accessed at www.ontario.ca/diabetes.

 For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)


Media Contacts

  • David Jensen

    Ministry of Health and Long Term Care


  • Ivan Langrish

    Minister's Office


  • Wendy Vincent

    Ministry of Health Promotion, Minister's Office


  • Julie Rosenberg

    Ministry of Health Promotion, Communications




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