Friends of Medicare wants changes to Alberta’s Insulin Pump Therapy Program reversed

Health-care advocacy group Friends of Medicare is calling on the province to reverse changes made this week to Alberta’s Insulin Pump Therapy Program.

The changes, announced on Tuesday, have sparked concern amongst Albertans with Type 1 diabetes who worry they’ll be left paying more for pumps.

“People will have to seek coverage via private workplace insurance plans, or government benefit plans, potentially leaving many Albertans subject to costly co-pays and premiums,” said a Wednesday news release from Friends of Medicare.

Executive Director Chris Gallaway accused the UCP of “balancing their budget on the backs of patients and families” with “no consideration for the long-term impacts.”

“This kind of short-sighted pursuit of ‘savings’ has become par for the course for this government,” he said.

Friends of Medicare was among those fighting for the implementation of the insulin pump program in 2013.

“Rather than clawing back the programs and services that make life livable for the people in our communities, we should be protecting and strengthening our public services, and making the much-needed and long-overdue investments to expand our public Medicare,” said Gallaway. 

According to a 2018 report from the Canadian Federation of United Nurses, an estimated 420 working-aged Canadians with diabetes die each year because they don’t have adequate access to their medications.

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