Province needs to fund insulin pumps for children

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To the editor,

In November a lovely 10-year-old gal named Madison was in need of a new insulin pump. I was very surprised that our government does not cover some or all of the cost of these, especially for children. Our school rallied, along with some non-profit organizations, and Madison was able to purchase a new insulin pump for $6,500. Nova Scotia and P.E.I. are the only provinces to not cover insulin pumps for children in some form. Alberta came on board Jan 1, 2013.

I have been on an emailing campaign to our “elected” government officials and have received the usual responses. They often refer to the need for a balanced budget and increased health care demands. Those not in power are quick to say their party would fund these pumps if elected.

My MLA, Ross Landry, has yet to respond to three emails yet mailed a pamphlet to my home asking what he can do for me. Perhaps the money to design, develop, print and mail this pamphlet could have started our insulin pump account because the pamphlet I received was not worth the paper it was printed on. Shame on you Ross. Clarrie MacKinnon and Stephen McNeil have been very timely in their responses, thank you gentlemen.

I am not political, however, I vote at all elections and I pay taxes so I have a say. What can one voice do? I have had an online petition developed,   

https://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/nova-scotia-legislature-fund-insulin-pumps-for-children

This petition takes 30 seconds to sign and will email members of the Nova Scotia government requesting coverage. Having the issue called to the floor and debated is the first step. Many have signed the petition and many have made comments or told their stories. Thank you to those who signed.

When I see Madison with her purple insulin pump and know she is healthier I say shame on N.S. for not covering these devices. They allow diabetics to more effectively regulate how their body uses insulin while providing them more freedom. Other provinces have initiated the insulin pump program with children only to end up offering it adults as well in some form. Why? Because it actually saves money.

I ask everyone to go to the site, sign and comment then forward to your contacts. Do it for every little 10-year-old who has had to prick herself with a needle 30,000 times. Yes 30,000 in so short a time. Then along came her insulin pump giving her a bit more freedom to be a carefree girl.

Please send your email and thoughts to our elected officials. What can one voice do?  Well, this voice is hoping that other moms, dads and people will attempt to make it right. You have a voice if you choose to use it. Remember there is strength in numbers.

Tammy MacLaren, New Glasgow

Voter, taxpayer and Mom

Organizations: En-CA

Geographic location: Madison, Nova Scotia, P.E.I. Alberta New Glasgow

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Recent comments

  • D. Lynn Soulis
    February 10, 2013 - 10:11

    Being the mom of now a 23 year old female, it was a very devastating diagnosis on March 26/04, not something you want to hear and so wishing that it could be you and not your little girl. However, having said that I know it could always be worse. My daughter now lives in Fort McMurray and finally is now getting her first insulin pump, not due to government financing but she happens to have a good job and is hopeful that they will help with the cost. I believe this cost should be covered in every province., there are not many families that can afford this expense as much as they would do anything they can for their loved ones. I sure hope this medical cost gets covered, not for my benefit but for many others.Thanks for listening :)

  • Robert MacDonald
    February 07, 2013 - 21:13

    I have a 9year old daughter who was diagnnosed at 14 months of age with type 1 diabetes.Her life and mine as one of her parents was dramatically changed when she went on an insulin pump.However unfunded pump supplies are expensive and are creating extreme financial difficulties for myself and my wife since we both are on low fixed income.Others need help as we did to obtain an insulin pump and thier supplies.Our elected government officials need to recognize this and help us to give our children the right to a healthy life by covering these expenses for our children as other Canadian provinces have already recognized this as a valid need.