Province Adds $300,000 Annually To Help An Extra 200 New Brunswickers With Type 1 Diabetes

Posted on Monday, February 26, 2018 15:51 PM

Provincial Health Minister Benoit Bourque announced an additional $300,000 annually to help young adults buy insulin pumps and supplies.

He says as of April 1st, they're expanding the program to include young adults under 25 years old, up from the current age limit of 18.

Jake Reid, senior leader of government relations with Diabetes Canada says that specific age group is particularly vulnerable.

"You might be moving out of your home, or with your caregivers for the first time, perhaps going away and getting a job, going to school for the first time," says Reid. "It can be a daunting task for any young person, let alone if you have a chronic condition like Type 1 Diabetes."

Reid continues on, approving of this decision by the Gallant Government, saying living with Type 1 Diabetes can be expensive.

"An insulin pump itself costs around $7,000 on its own,  the ongoing supplies can cost as much as $300 a month, and so that's why this sort of a program that supports people is so important," says Reid.

Bourque says insulin pumps, as opposed to daily injections, allow better disease management, which will in turn reduce avoidable hospitalizations.

Bourque explains how the assistance program will work.

"The family is responsible for a portion of the equipment and supplies based on income," says Bourque. "The calculation for the contribution considers information such as household income, family size and the selected device."

Bourque was unable to answer how many more of the 4,000 New Brunswickers living with Type 1 Diabetes would be eligible for help under this expansion.

However, a follow up question to the Department of Health prompted a spokesperson to say currently, there are approximately 170 people enrolled in the program, and they estimate approximately 200 additional people would benefit from the expanded program.