MONCTON (GNB) – The provincial government is expanding the program which helps diabetics purchase insulin pumps and supplies to include young adults up to 25 years old.

The change will come into effect on April 1. The current program assists parents of children 18 years old or younger.

“Your government is committed to improving the prevention and management of chronic conditions,” said Health Minister Benoît Bourque. “The expansion of this program will help lessen the financial burden on young adults by reducing out-of-pocket costs associated with diabetes.”

The Department of Health will invest $ 300,000 to expand the program.

“The use of insulin pumps instead of (multiple) daily injections will lead to better management of diabetes and so reduce avoidable hospitalizations and improve the health and quality of life for New Brunswickers living with diabetes,” said Bourque.

“This is welcome news for many New Brunswickers and we are pleased the government is recognizing the needs of people living with diabetes,” said Jake Reid, senior leader of government relations with Diabetes Canada. “People living with diabetes are at high-risk of developing serious long-term complications such as kidney failure, heart attack and limb amputation. This commitment is an important move towards what we hope will be a program to make insulin pumps available to all New Brunswickers with type 1 diabetes who are medically eligible, so they are better equipped to manage their condition and improve their quality of life.”

To be eligible for the program, a person must:

  • have a valid New Brunswick Medicare number;
  • be a permanent New Brunswick resident;
  • be 25 years old or younger effective April 2, 2018;
  • have Type 1 diabetes; and
  • meet the criteria as outlined in the Insulin Pump Program Policies and Procedures Manual.

Applications will be assessed to determine the applicant’s contribution based upon their income, with the remainder of the cost being covered by the provincial government.