Monday, April 13, 2015

Constant Advocate

Did you know the French word for Avocado is Avocat but also the French word for lawyer is Avocat?

Here is a hard core avocado (pic taken from:

Well now you do. I thought of that as I mis-spelled advocate in the title.

Anyway, on with the news.

The past week has been a bit trying in Nova Scotia. We had our 2015/2016 budget released and it made a lot of drastic and painful cuts in programs and services that our province needs. When I try and remove my feelings from this budget, and try and objectively understand the necessity to bring our failing province out of debt some of them make sense.

A little background for you, and yes this does have to do with diabetes I swear.

Nova Scotia is one of the poorest provinces in Canada. We have one of the highest aging populations, our emigration vs immigration for the young and talented is absolutely heartbreakingly staggering. We have the highest instances of cancer in Canada, the second highest of diabetes. We have the 4th highest rate of unemployment. We have the highest taxes in the country, with a whopping sales tax of 15% and the personal tax rate can go as high as 50%!

As you can tell things are pretty grim. We aren't exactly booming, our population is ageing and our healthcare dollars are generally....well mismanaged.

There are fewer and fewer people like me: well-educated, gainfully employed and enjoying it, owning a home and paying down student debt. When when I say fewer and fewer...I mean I am in a severe minority.

I won't get in to why I think that is, I will just say that it is a fact that has become a trope in Nova Scotia life.

ANYWAY, the budget made a lot of cuts that to me don't make sense (two that had me riled are the film tax credit and unfreezing tuition costs). But I have to have faith that our government wouldn't do such drastic things if it didn't have a plan to bring wealth back to us. Maybe?

But inside the dreary, dismal display for the budget lays a nugget of progress.

The Nova Scotia Government announced it will up the age limit of the funding for the insulin pump program from 19-25! This has been my personal advocacy story for quite some time. The province needs to understand the life-changing effects this can have on people with T1D. I know of two people who have moved provinces to get this coverage.

Other provinces are covering all pumps for all ages and there is no reason we are so far behind them. The announcement was a shocker and a great step in the right direction for our province. With the finances in such a difficult position, it's amazing we see a tiny step in the right direction.

It may have been just saving face, it may have been something more, but at a luncheon a few months ago the organizer decided to sit me next to our minister of health. The poor guy..ha ha! We had a great chat about the state of diabetes care, and its epidemic level in Nova Scotia. We talked about how I think we can make small changes in our wording and how we treat the public with diabetes, and we had a long chat about the insulin pump program. I taught him how to carb count my lunch and showed him my CGM, blood test and how I bolused.He agreed we need to do more. I am so proud to be a constant advocate. I am so glad that under the darkness that the province is currently in, we see a little light.

1 comment:

  1. This makes me happier than you can imagine. This is proof positive that you are a difference-maker. Thank you.