The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, today announced that Health Canada is developing an innovative pilot project in partnership with Saint Elizabeth Health Care and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, to establish a wait times guarantee for First Nations people living on reserve in Manitoba who face debilitating infections and possible amputations arising from diabetes.
Diabetes rates are high among Canada?s First Nations and they also have a higher rate of complications such as vision loss, kidney damage and foot ulcers leading to amputations. More than 90 per cent of lower limb loss among Manitoba First Nations occurs in those with diabetes. This compares with 10 percent of the general Canadian population. These facts underscore the need to improve First Nations access to diabetes care.
“This wait time guarantee pilot project for First Nations diabetes care will benefit Manitoba First Nations and all Canadians,? said Minister Clement. ?This third wait time guarantee clearly demonstrates that Canada?s New Government is delivering on its promise to make sure that all Canadians receive essential medical treatment within clinically acceptable waiting times.?
The project brings expertise from Saint Elizabeth Health Care, a non-profit organization, to work in an innovative partnership with First Nations and the federal government toward an effective solution to this serious problem.