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Ontario Diabetes Strategy

Archived Backgrounder

Ontario Diabetes Strategy

Ministry of Health

An estimated 1.2 million people in Ontario are living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. By 2020, that number is expected to increase to 1.9 million. 

The Ontario Diabetes Strategy was established in July 2008 to expand and enhance diabetes prevention, care and management across the province. 

The goal of the Ontario Diabetes Strategy is to improve the health of Ontarians and address this growing and expensive health care challenge by:

  • Educating the public, especially those at high risk, about diabetes and ways to prevent it.
  • Supporting patients in managing their disease.
  • Increasing the adoption of evidence-based clinical guidelines on the part of providers and improving access to proven care and treatment options.
  • Improving local and regional coordination of diabetes services and care.
  • Identifying gaps in health care and implementing new initiatives to address them.
  • Setting targets for clinical performance, enhancing accountability and monitoring performance.

The strategy has improved patient outcomes through a variety of coordinated and comprehensive diabetes prevention and management initiatives.

Prevention Initiatives

To help prevent diabetes, programs for high-risk groups were developed to target their specific health needs. These initiatives include:

  • Community-based interventions to raise awareness of diabetes risk factors, and increase opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating choices.
  • Eat Right Ontario, a web and telephone-based initiative to address diabetes prevention using culturally adapted resources.
  • Partnerships with Public Health Units in Peel Region, Toronto, northwestern Ontario and northeastern Ontario.
  • Funding of programming through Aboriginal Health Access Centres to deliver culturally appropriate outreach and education to Aboriginal populations.

Improving Diabetes Management

To help Ontarians with diabetes manage their disease, the province has developed several unique programs and services designed to increase access to specialized diabetes treatment and care, including:

  • Centres for Complex Diabetes Care provide a patient-centered approach to care for people with diabetes and complex health requirements. The centres are designed to help patients manage complex chronic disease. They provide patients with a single point of access to specialist services, while maintaining a relationship with a primary care provider which is critical to proper care and diabetes management.
  • Diabetes Mobile Outreach Services brings diabetes care and treatment to communities and people facing barriers to accessing health services in nine communities in northern Ontario, including four First Nations communities. 
  • Diabetes Regional Coordination Centres have been established in each of the 14 Local Health Integration Networks to coordinate diabetes care and foster adoption of clinical best practices and standards among providers across the province.
  • Diabetes Education Teams include one registered nurse and one dietician who work with family doctors and other diabetes care experts to help patients manage their diabetes and avoid diabetes-related health complications. In 2010-11, the ministry increased the number of teams from 220 to 321 across the province.

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