North West LHIN Launches New Regional Diabetes Plan to Improve Access to High Quality, Coordinated Diabetes Care

Nurse taking blood pressure of senior patient

The prevalence of diabetes in the North West LHIN is higher than the province at 14.5 per cent of the population age 18 years and over, compared to 12.4 per cent provincially according to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The people of Northwestern Ontario report poorer health practices than the population of the province as a whole. With a poorer health status and aging population, the North West LHIN is expected to face growth in the prevalence of diabetes and subsequent demand for health services. Both hospitalization rates for people in the North West LHIN living with diabetes and the diabetes related amputation rate are more than double the provincial average. To address these challenges, a North West LHIN Regional Diabetes Plan has been developed.

The goal of the Regional Diabetes Plan is to mobilize and strengthen the health care system to improve access to safe, comprehensive and high quality diabetes care for the people of Northwestern Ontario. By achieving this goal, health outcomes are improved, enhancing quality of life for people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes and their families.

The implementation timeline is three years.

The Regional Diabetes Plan has been developed in alignment with the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care’s Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, the North West LHIN Strategic Directions, Integrated Health Service Plan 2016-2019, and the North West LHIN Health Services Blueprint.

A number of community engagement activities informed the development of the North West LHIN Regional Diabetes Plan including extensive research, analysis, and consultation with the North West LHIN Diabetes Steering Committee, primary care providers and people living with diabetes.

Living with Diabetes

My health care providers care about me and my diabetes; I feel I’m not just a number but an actual person. They are doing their best and that’s all I could ask for.

I appreciate everything that is done for me but we can’t forget about those young people that are following in our footsteps. They will end up in exactly the same place if we don’t look after them now.

Just knowing there are people here to help and encourage me to be healthy helps me feel more confident in managing my diabetes. The [diabetes clinicians] listen to me, work with me to set personal health goals and then hold me accountable for these. I feel like we’re working as a team.