To the editor,
I wish I was writing this letter as a proud Nova Scotian, as opposed to one sorely disappointed with our government’s commitment (or lack thereof) to ensuring the health and well-being of our residents. Thousands of families have struggled to provide insulin pumps for their diabetic children, but until just a month and a half ago, when my seven-year-old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, the issue of government funding for insulin pumps had never crossed my mind.
After my daughter's diagnosis, having heard such wonderful things from pump users in our new diabetic community, we began the process of researching insulin pumps. Around the same time, I came across Tammy MacLaren’s petition calling for government support. I do not have the words to describe what it felt like to discover we live in one of the two Canadian provinces that offer no assistance when it comes to acquiring these lifesaving devices. As a young mother, and full-time PhD student, the financial reality of multiple daily insulin injections and blood sugar checks hit hard. The realization of the costs associated with pumping knocked me to the ground.
Pumping allows diabetics to regain some normality in their lives, escape over 100 injections a month, eat what they want, when they want, and most importantly, allows them significantly better control over their disease. Pumping regulates blood sugar far more efficiently than injections, reducing the occurrence of dangerous highs and lows, and the likelihood of developing diabetes-related complications down the road. I believe that funding should be in place to help diabetics of all ages. In our province, no one should go without proper medical care just because they cannot afford it.
As Ms. MacLaren points out, the implementation of this funding will save the government money in the long run by lowering medical costs associated with the plethora of diabetes-related complications many experience due to inadequate blood sugar management. Stephen McNeil’s Liberals have long supported the implementation of this funding, and the PCs have finally acknowledged the importance of this issue, and announced their support as well. It is time for Darrell Dexter and the NDP party to get on board, and do what is right by our children, and families.
Amanda Williams, PhD Candidate
Department of Psychology