Manitoba Lobby Day update

Jessica Williams and fellow delegates made it a great success.

Twenty-three-year-old Jessica Williams and a dozen other JDRF advocates from across Manitoba gathered at the Legislative Assembly Building in Winnipeg last November 8th for T1D Heroes Lobby Day. Their goal: to lobby the government to improve insulin pump coverage for all those living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) throughout the province.

Over the course of the day, the advocates - joined by staff and members of the local Advocacy Committee - engaged with 32 of Manitoba’s 57 members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), including the minister of health, finance, families and infrastructure, the leader of the official opposition and the leader of the provincial Liberal Party. The speaker of the house acknowledged JDRF’s presence in the gallery and nearly all MLAs present were wearing a blue JDRF T1D Heroes ribbon in support of our event and National Diabetes Awareness Month.

Our T1D Heroes appealed to Manitoba legislators to remove the age restrictions around insulin pumps. At present, parents of children under age 18 can be reimbursed for the full cost of an insulin pump, about $6300; however, at age 18 that support is withdrawn. Adults of all ages are out-of-pocket for the cost of pumps, supplies and glucose monitoring. These costs can be substantial, ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 in Manitoba, depending on your income level and diabetes management regime.

JDRF believes there is a strong case for the public funding of insulin pumps and would like to see people of all ages receive free insulin pumps, as is currently the case in Ontario, Alberta and the three territories. In other provinces, coverage ends at age 18, 19 or 25, leaving young adults faced with choosing between paying for tuition, rent and groceries, or saving to replace their insulin pump. It’s unfair that adults with diabetes must carry this financial burden for the rest of their life. 

If you (or someone you love) live with diabetes and reside in Manitoba, BC, Saskatchewan, Quebec or the Atlantic provinces, we encourage you to join Jessica and our other advocates, and take action by writing to your provincial representatives. 

For more info on our T1D Heroes Lobby Day, see these news articles:

CBC News: Diabetics urge Manitoba government to extend coverage for insulin pumps.

Radio Canada (French only): Des diabétiques appellent la province à une meilleure couverture des pompes à insuline.

Lets turn type one into type none