Vulnerable diabetes patients hit hard by PCs' billion-dollar health care cut

EDMONTON - Today, David Eggen, NDP candidate for Edmonton-Calder, called on the PCs to restore funding for vital medical supplies for up to 16,000 low-income Albertans with diabetes, and warned that the elimination of the Alberta Monitoring for Health Program is a sign of devastating cuts to health care under Jim Prentice's PC government.

"Thousands of Albertans will be impacted by Jim Prentice's careless cuts to diabetes care," said Eggen. "Eliminating funding for vulnerable low-income patients' medical supplies puts their health at risk. These are exactly the kinds of short-sighted cuts that will only undermine patients' health and force more people into emergency rooms and hospitals, adding more pressure to a crowded system."

Jim Prentice and the PCs have discontinued the Alberta Monitoring for Health Program, which reimbursed low-income diabetes patients for the cost of crucial medical supplies, such as test strips. The majority of recipients will no longer be eligible for public coverage of the costs of their medical supplies.

The cut is happening as the PCs take over a billion dollars out of the health care system this year alone, with no funding for $950 million in growth pressures and $160 million in direct cuts. Jim Prentice is also promising to make deep cuts to frontline health services for years to come, with no new nurses for three years.

"Cutting funding for low-income diabetes patients is just the first sign of Jim Prentice's billion-dollar cut to health care," said Eggen. "Jim Prentice is wrong to think he can build our province by cutting support for the most vulnerable Albertans. New Democrats will stop these cuts and protect the health care services that all families rely on."