The Alberta Government is pausing its plan to scrap the Insulin Pump Therapy Program, slated to end on August 1.
The move comes following an outcry from the diabetic community and the opposition NDP.
Airdronian Leanne Mullen, who has been a diabetic for 35 years and uses the Insulin Pump Therapy Program, says there was no such thing as a pump when she first started living with Diabetes.
“When I actually transitioned to the pump, at that time, I was taking seven needles a day. I was limited to when I could eat, how much I could eat, that kind of thing. With the pump, you're almost normal. You don't have to take any needles; you don't have to worry about eating at certain times of the day. It was a big, big change in my life.”
Mullen says she can't even imagine going back to taking needles.
“The pump gave me so much more freedom.”
Mullen, who is retired, had to buy a medical plan, as her standard plan does not cover pump expenses. Luckily, she doesn’t have to worry about that anymore.
“I'm also using a continuous glucose monitor, which my plan doesn't cover, that I pay for out of pocket, which is almost $3,000 a year. When they (Alberta Government) decided, they were going to get rid of the pump program, I was going to be spending a lot more money.”
Mullen says, if the government did decide to get rid of the Insulin Pump Therapy Program, it would be detrimental to the healthcare system.
“It's a lot of work when you take the needles all day. With the pump, it's thinking for you.”
Diabetes Canada wrote a letter to Health Minister Jason Copping outlining its concerns with the government's plans.
“I'm glad they're speaking up for us.” says Mullen, “I'm glad they put a pause on it and maybe do a little more looking into it before they make these kinds of decisions that affect so many people's lives.”
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