Change approach to health care: Save money, decrease illness
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) says government could reduce the consequences of illness by taking a more active approach to health care delivery. This is Diabetes Awareness Month; today in the House of Assembly, Michael focused on the important role primary and preventative care can play in managing this particular disease.
“Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest prevalence of diabetes for all ages of any jurisdiction in Canada. In 2010, 47,000 people suffered from diabetes. By 2020, it is expected that 73,000 persons in the Province will have diabetes,” Michael said in the House. “Without investment in primary health care, our system will be overwhelmed.
“When will the premier take action and set up more primary health care teams and diabetes centres around the province to help fight the growth of diabetes?”
The vision for primary health care teams halted some years ago when federal contributions ceased and the provincial government decided not to continue expanding the number of teams, considered vital by many rural residents.
“Government has left it up to the Regional Health Authorities to scrape together the money to set up more teams and diabetes centres to combat diabetes across the province,” she said. “Will the Premier ensure that new money is set aside in the 2015 budget to set up more primary health care teams?”
Michael has long been an advocate for people with diabetes, repeatedly calling for more funding of the test strips some patients need to manage their disease, as well as increased provision of insulin pumps.