Canadian Diabetes Association unveils charter for patients, doctors
Published Monday, April 7, 2014 7:35PM ADT
A document detailing the rights and responsibilities of a Canadian dealing with diabetes in the 21st century has just been released, and it’s hitting close to home for New Brunswick’s health minister.
Hugh Flemming says he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes a few months ago.
“You can feel tingling in your feet and hands and that’s never happened before, so I wondered what that was about,” says Flemming.
“Nothing really resonates as much than when it hits close to home.”
In 2014, a diabetes diagnosis presents many options for treatment and care. Monday’s unveiling of the Diabetes Charter for Canada aims to create one standard of care across the country, detailing rights and responsibilities following a diagnosis.
“Of not only people with diabetes, but also health-care professionals that work with people with diabetes, for governments in terms of good things that should happen in policy and health, as well as schools,” says Jake Reid of the Canadian Diabetes Association.
According to the document, schools and daycares have a responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations for diabetes self-management. It also says Canadians deserve easy and affordable access to diabetes medications, devices and supplies.
“He dropped that d-word and it just shatters you because you know what’s in front of you,” says Vanessa Godin, who was diagnosed with diabetes 16 years ago.
She says the charter is a gift as it spells out rights and responsibilities that weren’t always so clear.
“The technology is there, the expertise in medicine is there, the medications are there,” she says.
The charter isn’t a legal document, but those who wrote it hope it’s recognition that diabetes is a growing issue.
A total of three million Canadians have the chronic illness and that number is expected to grow by well over a million over the next 10 years.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Nick Moore