The 2019 Ontario Budget: How to turn disappointment into action

By Abidah Shamji, National Manager of Government Relations, JDRF Canada

In partnership with Advocates from the type 1 diabetes (T1D) community, we put forward one important recommendation for this year’s provincial budget: that the Government provide access to advanced glucose monitoring technologies such as continuous glucose monitoros (CGMs) and flash glucose monitors (FGMs) to patients and families living with type 1 diabetes. Such measure would not only drastically improve their quality of life and health, but also reduce the complications of the disease leading to increased costs to our health care system.

Well, the budget came out last week with no commitment to fund CGMs or FGMs. This was not entirely unexpected as we have only just recently launched the Access for All campaign so a quick win in Budget 2019 was always a bit of a long shot. After hearing the T1D community tell us how important this issue is for them, we launched this campaign just over a month ago to encourage the government to add CGMs and FGMs to coverage programs in Ontario.

The results of this budget mean that your voice is now more important than ever. You can immediately support this initiative by writing, calling or meeting with your provincial or territorial representative by simply clicking here.

The good news is, there is still time, and we are not giving up. Armed with data including the Ontario Health Technology Assessment Committee’s (OHTAC) Report and JDRF patient advocates, we are continuing to aggressively push this issue forward.

Over the next few months, we will be:

  • Planning town halls in 3-4 Ontario communities
  • Meeting with those responsible for deciding which medical devices get covered in Ontario
  • Targeting MPPs to continue to talk about the impact of CGMs and FGMs on patients
  • Targeting private insurance companies who don’t currently cover advanced glucose monitoring technologies as standard in their plans
  • Providing you with an online toolkit so you can advocate to your own insurer/employer effectively

Were you disappointed that type 1 diabetes was not included in the 2019 Ontario Budget? Just five minutes of action will help put more pressure on decision makers and advocate for better benefits for the T1D community. Please meetcall or write your provincial representative and urge them to support reimbursement for these technologies.

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