Friday , June 18 2021

Quebec to consider covering the cost of continuous monitoring of diabetes

Pre-school daughter of Anna Michaelli Etienne, in Côte-St-Luc on Friday, November 16, 2018. She has a rare form of diabetes that requires constant monitoring of her blood sugar, but the provincial government will not be supervised by a full-day supervision under medical care, because costs more than 5,000 USD per year.

Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette

Anna Anna's kindergarten daughter loves to ride her arena in the neighborhood and play hide and seek with her older sisters.

But if it was not for the fact that Annie wears a thumb-sized device that constantly monitors blood sugar, it may not be possible. This is because Annie is a type 1 diabetes that does not show any symptoms if her blood sugar level drops or rises.

This is a potentially serious problem. If Annie's diabetes was going to become uncontrolled and her blood glucose dropped sharply, she might have been exposed to a coma that would fall into a coma even death. Fortunately, the Côte-St-Luc girl can count on a relatively new technology, continuous glucose monitoring that allows you to lead a normal life.

"This technology saves her everyday and nightlife because we can not respond to her symptoms," Etienne explained. "If (most) children with type 1 diabetes feel weak, they start to shake or sweat, sometimes they feel thirsty or hungry, and other people around them can respond to it. We can not do it with my daughter because we do not feel her downs . "

The device is connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone Etienne and warns her when the daughters' blood sugars are turned off. In the blink of an eye, he can give his daughter some insulin.

But this device, manufactured by Dexcom in California, is not cheap. The annual cost, including the need to replace the sensors every seven days, is more than 5,000 USD.

In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service finances the use of equipment under certain circumstances. France, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland cover costs in accordance with the national health insurance plans. Like many private medical insurers in the United States.

But in Canada, no provincial health care plan covers the device. In February, a provincial advisory panel in Ontario recommended public funding for ongoing glucose monitoring for type 1 diabetics who are "unaware of symptoms," according to Diabetes Canada.

Etienne has the funds to cover the high costs, but regrets the fact that other Quebec families can not afford technology.

"From a moral and ethical point of view, the government must take action," she said. "There should be no policy here, only the duty to look after every citizen, children are our future and the future is now."

Alexandre Lahaie, Attaché Press Health Minister Danielle McCann, said in Montreal on Thursday that the government will investigate this issue. The Avenir Québec coalition was elected to the majority government on October 1.

"We're going to investigate this question," said Lahaie. "We are in the process of summarizing all the different files, we do not say" yes ", we do not say" no. "We will first inform ourselves about this question and make a final decision."

Preetha Krishnamoorthy, an endocrinologist at the Montreal Children's Hospital, treats many children, including Annie, who use continuous glucose monitoring.

"Children who have difficulty feeling or low blood sugar levels can be really great technology," said Krishnamoorthy. "It's certainly something that can help you get control of diabetes.

"It's also fantastic for families to know what sugars are doing, so I definitely think it's a very promising new technology as well as other new technologies for diabetes."

For now, Etienne and her daughters will continue to spread the gospel of diabetes awareness and the benefits of this technology. On Friday, Annie's older sister, Raphaella, talked about diabetes along with Krishnamoon at the Royal West Academy. Raphaella is also running a charity project for the upcoming birthday, the purpose of which is to hand the puppets to the children's diabetology clinic.

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