Manitoba investing $6M in diabetes supports for young people

The Manitoba government is investing $6 million in programs to help improve the quality of life for young people with Type 1 diabetes.

“The challenge of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2, in Manitoba and Canada has been one of the most significant health challenges that our country and our province has been facing,” said Premier Kelvin Goertzen.

“Measures to help manage diabetes are challenging at all ages and particularly for children and for youth.”

The province announced the funding at a news conference on Tuesday morning, noting that it is creating programs to pay for advanced glucose monitors and insulin pumps for those aged 25 years and younger.

The province estimates with these programs, more than 1,000 residents can seek coverage for advanced glucose monitors and up to 200 more Manitobans will be able to use insulin pumps with no upfront costs.

“These investments will greatly improve the quality of life for young Manitobans with diabetes,” said Health Minister Audrey Gordon.

Advanced glucose monitors improve blood sugar management for those with Type 1 diabetes. Residents who are 25 and younger who meet the eligibility criteria, including a referral from specialist, will have the choice of continuous or flash glucose monitors.

The province notes that eligible Manitobans will still need to pay out-of-pocket for advanced glucose monitors until their pharmacare deductible has been met for the year. Those receiving employment and income assistance will receive them at no cost.

Currently, insulin pumps are provided at no cost to eligible Manitobans under the age of 18 under by the Manitoba Pediatric Insulin Pump Program (MPIP)

According to the Manitoba government, the eligibility for insulin pumps for those aged 18 to 25 will be similar to the MPIP Program, and include those with Type 1 diabetes who have an endocrinologist’s recommendation for an insulin pump.

Manitobans do not need to meet their pharmacare deductible before they can receive an insulin pump.

“We welcome this expansion as these devices are absolutely critical in preventing life-threatening complications and improving health outcomes,” said Dr. Nick Hajidiacos, a JDRF board member.

“Managing Type 1 [diabetes] is a daily struggle, and self-management is made tremendously better through technology, such as insulin pumps, CGMs, and flash glucose monitors, which improve overall blood glucose, and time and target range.”

The new supports for advanced glucose monitors take effect on Sept. 18 and in November 2021 for insulin pumps.

“Many Manitobans will benefit from this coverage and this announcement demonstrates the evolution of coverage options,” Hajidiacos said.