Innovative Healthcare: A Step in the Right Direction

Canadian Diabetes Association welcomes the Council of the Federation report recommendations

TORONTO, July 31, 2012 /CNW/ - Canada has one of the highest rates of diabetes per capita in the world, at 9.2 per cent compared to other OECD countries.  Even more concerning is that Canada's rate of diabetes-related mortality is the third-highest among its peer countries.  Diabetes also costs our healthcare system nearly $12 billion annually, however complications account for 80 per cent of these costs.  The Canadian Diabetes Association is encouraged by the Council of the Federation's (COF) recent report From Innovation to Action: The First Report of the Health Care Innovation Working Group, which pinpoints critical areas for improvement to our healthcare system taking into consideration chronic diseases, the aging population and the needs of people living in rural/remote and northern Canada.

"Improving the health of Canadians is increasingly dependent upon the collaboration and commitment of provincial and territorial governments to identify gaps and address them through innovative approaches," said Michael Cloutier, President and CEO of the Canadian Diabetes Association.  "We are pleased with the time invested by government to make healthcare a priority in Canada and focus on root causes and prevention of secondary complications."

Unlike other chronic diseases, diabetes can be managed effectively, allowing people with the disease to live long and healthy lives.  However, due to the excessive cost of managing diabetes, 50 per cent of Canadians have to choose between managing their diabetes or paying their bills.  There is a real need to improve access to healthcare and ease the financial burden to prevent devastating health complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and amputation.  People with diabetes deserve the best possible healthcare, regardless of where they live in Canada.  The COF report addresses these issues and speaks to the need to support Canadians through the delivery of consistent evidence-informed care; team-based care and shared best healthcare practices amongst provinces and territories.

When it comes to diabetes and foot care, the Association's most recent cost model report, Reducing the Prevalence of Foot Ulcers in Canada, concludes that most diabetic foot ulcers and amputations can be prevented.  Research has shown that between 49 per cent and 85 per cent of amputations can be avoided through education, careful monitoring and early treatment.  The Canadian Diabetes Association welcomes the opportunity to work with governments and other healthcare organizations to ensure the standardization and adoption of clinical practice guidelines in the area of foot care.

"The Canadian Diabetes Association has been developing clinical practice guidelines every five years since 1998 and will be releasing its updated guidelines in March 2013.  By working with healthcare professionals across the country using these guidelines, we can help to reduce the number of Canadians who face severe complications such as foot ulcers and amputations, ultimately reducing healthcare costs and improving quality of life for the more than nine million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes," added Cloutier.  "The Canadian Diabetes Association will continue to work together with key stakeholders and we look forward to the outcomes from the Health Care Innovation Working Group."

About the Canadian Diabetes Association
The Canadian Diabetes Association is a registered charitable organization, leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. Our professional staff and more than 20,000 volunteers provide education and services to help people in their daily fight against the disease, advocate on behalf of people with diabetes for the opportunity to achieve their highest quality of life, and break ground towards a cure. Please visit diabetes.ca, join us on facebook.com/CanadianDiabetesAssociation, follow us on Twitter @DiabetesAssoc, or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

SOURCE: Canadian Diabetes Association

For further information:

or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Randi Garcha
National Manager, Media Relations & External Communications
Canadian Diabetes Association
T: (416) 408-7071
C: (647) 292-9641
E: randi.garcha@diabetes.ca

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Canadian Diabetes Association

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