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This article was published 19/3/2009 (4647 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Liberal leader Jon Gerrard slammed the Doer government’s "woefully inadequate" approach to diabetes care and called on the province to invest more resources to stave off the growing epidemic.
Gerrard said this morning the number of new diabetes cases diagnosed each year in Manitoba has nearly doubled in the last decade from 4,000 to about 7,000, and the number of diabetics in some communities like Opaskwayak Cree Nation is as high as 20 per cent.
He urged the province to make diabetes prevention a priority in next week’s budget, since the estimated cost of caring for a diabetic throughout their lifetime is up to $100,000.
The provincial budget will be unveiled next Wednesday.
"This is just not acceptable to have that kind of approach to the epidemic," Gerrard said at a news conference across from Health Sciences Centre emergency.
Gerrard also encouraged the province to change its approach to health care funding to make it easier for regional health authorities to budget for their services. He said if the province negotiated with regional health authorities or hospitals to set a universal price for services, the health care system would be more efficient and transparent.
He said this type of funding is already in place for cataract surgery.
The provincial Liberals are gearing up for their annual general meeting this weekend, which will feature speeches by federal leader Michael Ignatieff and other Liberals, including Gerard Kennedy and Carolyn Kennedy.
Gerrard said he thinks the provincial Liberals have seen a boost in membership in the last year since the public is looking for positive solutions to health care and other problems.
The party is heading into the weekend AGM with 3,000 members — up from 1,000 a year ago.