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Dubé remains evasive on reimbursement for insulin pumps

Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé responds to the opposition during question period at the National Assembly, Tuesday, in Quebec.

Associations of diabetics who came to the National Assembly on Wednesday to request reimbursement for the insulin pump say they are disappointed with the response of the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé.

“We were counting a lot on the minister being open to this possibility, but he told us, in a very vague way, that it was not the government's priority,” lamented the president of the Quebec Association of Type 1 Diabetics, Sophie St-Pierre.

“One thing, by the way, which has been said to diabetes associations for years, is that diabetes is not one of the government's priorities. It might be time that we leave a little space for these diabetics, who can contribute a lot to society,” she added.

Currently, the Purchasing the pump and its accessories represents an expense of approximately $6,000 to $10,000, said the spokesperson for Québec solidaire (QS) in health, Vincent Marissal.

He recalled that only minors with type 1 diabetes are covered by the public plan, even if the National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services (INESSS) recommended that the government extend coverage to adults.

“It’s a form of injustice that has been decried for a very, very long time,” said Mr. Marissal. I was not very convinced by the response of the minister who told us: “Yes, yes, of course, shortly”. Soon, it’s an expression that I’ve heard very often. »

Earlier in the day, during question period, Mr. Dubé assured that he was working on the file, but at the same time declared that expanding coverage would require “excessively large sums.”

Approximately 60,000 Quebecers suffer from type 1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes) and rely on daily insulin injections or an insulin pump, a battery-powered device worn at all times that releases rapid-acting insulin, according to Diabète Québec.

“It’s important [to respect] the ability of Quebecers to pay too. We spend more than $50 billion on health care, Madam President. At the moment, it’s certain that we have requests everywhere,” said the minister.

His press secretary later clarified that the request from diabetics represented an expense for the government of $328.8 million over five years. “We are currently working on different scenarios to have more precise amounts,” said Antoine De La Durantaye.

One thing is certain, “this disease is serious, it is difficult to control, and, now, we have technology that allows us to achieve this, so I would not see why children under 18 would be entitled to it, and not adults, tax payers,” reacted Ms. St-Pierre .

A spokesperson for the Quebec Association of Type 1 Diabetics, Pascal Lemieux, noted for his part that several other provinces already offer universal access to insulin pumps.

“Insulin is such a dangerous drug that […] it takes two signatures to inject insulin into a patient. And we ask the patient at home to juggle that, when we have technology that can prevent risks? » he was surprised.

According to Mr. Lemieux, the insulin pump is an essential tool for improving the health of type 1 diabetics and reducing significant health costs related to possible complications of diabetes. illness.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116