Diabetes patients say Clark government is neglecting their health needs

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VANCOUVER— The Christy Clark government is not meeting the needs of people living with Type 1 diabetes by refusing to fund medically necessary equipment, says New Democrat health spokesperson Judy Darcy.

Darcy met with media on Thursday in support of Young and T1, an advocacy group for Type 1 diabetes patients between the ages of 18 and 35, as they launched their awareness campaign to have insulin pumps funded by the provincial Pharmacare program.

“For these young British Columbians, having an insulin pump is a matter of basic medical care,” said Darcy. “These are medically necessary devices, and their doctors are insisting these patients use them to regulate their blood sugar, yet the Clark government isn’t providing them.”

Currently, only patients under the age of 25 are covered for insulin pumps, which can cost as much as $7,000.

“Since the birth of my son, it has become increasingly difficult to manage day-to-day life along with a chronic condition that requires my attention 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said patient Natalie Woods. “My endocrinologist and I feel that it’s necessary that I get an insulin pump to ensure that I am able to successfully manage my diabetes and health along with helping to prevent the onset of complications.”

The Young and T1 group is launching their petition drive, with hardcopies being distributed by members across the province, and online hosted by the New Democrat caucus website, here: http://bcndpcaucus.ca/government-b-c-cover-cost-medically-necessary-insulin-pumps/

“We are going to keep the pressure on the government to ensure that the health care system meets our needs,” said executive director and co-founder Ramya Chittaranjan.

They will also be taking to social media, using the #fairhealthcarebc hashtag on Twitter and Facebook.