Advocating for insulin pumps in Manitoba

May 5, 2020

35-year old Jenna Basson from the Pas, Manitoba was amongst the volunteer team sharing their personal stories at the Manitoba Legislature last March 11th as they advocated for the provincial government to extend insulin pump coverage beyond the age of 18.

As a young professional, Basson would love the opportunity to better manage her type 1 diabetes and lower her A1C levels through the usage of an insulin pump, but the costs are just too high for her to be able to afford one. “The cost has always been so much that I could never afford it,” she said. “Over the years I’ve looked at the different options that are available, but they still remain inaccessible and unaffordable. Having this coverage would be life changing!”

The incredible volunteer advocates spent the day at the Manitoba Legislature on March 11th alongside JDRF’s advocacy team to demand #AccessForAll. The day consisted of a morning training session for advocates, followed by individual MLA meetings, culminating with an evening reception in the Legislature’s Golden Boy Dining Room co-hosted by philanthropist and long-time JDRF supporter Mrs. Tannis Richardson and JDRF President and CEO Dave Prowten.

JDRF’s message to the government was straightforward and simple: Manitobans with type 1 diabetes at all ages need access to insulin pumps. Investing in an insulin pump program for all will not only benefit patients, but it will also be a win for taxpayers with proven reductions in direct healthcare costs and complications. This means a significant reduction in emergency room visits and hospitalizations which has long been a priority for the government. The unfortunate reality is that Manitoba is lagging behind other provinces, with BC having recently joined Ontario, Alberta and the three territories in covering the cost of insulin pumps for all ages.

The team was met with lots of support from both government and opposition members, with over 50% of MLA’s who took meetings and attended the evening reception. “While there is still work to do, it feels like we were heard despite competing priorities,” Basson added.




In 2021, we’ll celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin; a discovery by Canadian researchers Frederick Banting and Charles Best that changed the lives of millions of people around the world. Announcing pump coverage for all in Manitoba would be an amazing way to recognize and celebrate this incredible contribution.

Until then, we continue to advocate and push for #AccessForAll.

Help us advocate for full insulin pump coverage in Manitoba by sending a letter to your representative today.

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