The Pressure is OFF: Ontario Improving Diabetic Wound Care
November 23, 2017
Ontario Improving Wound Care for Patients with Diabetes
Province Funding Casts to Treat Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Ontario is covering the cost of specialized casts to provide more support for patients with diabetic foot ulcers.
Wound care devices, which include removable, non-removable and total contact foot casts, can significantly improve patients' quality of life by relieving pressure around the heel, ankle and toes so the foot can properly heal. These casts will be made available free of charge at eligible locations such as foot and wound care clinics, specialized programs for diabetes and community health, complex continuing care and rehabilitation centres.
The province is also supporting wound care training and education for health care workers, which will include specialized skills development in diabetic foot ulcer management.
Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- Ontario is providing more than $8 million over three years to provide three types of foot casts, also referred to as offloading devices, to treat diabetic foot ulcers. These devices include removable, non-removable and total contact foot casts which can cost between $150 and $620.
- This funding followed Ontario’s acceptance of the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee’s recommendations to fund three types of offloading devices.
- The province is also investing more than $50,000 this year to support 14 health care specialists across the province to attend the Wounds Canada Conference for hands-on training and education. This funding is part of the larger wound care strategy.
- Offloading devices can be an effective treatment tool for diabetic foot ulcers and can significantly improve patient outcomes and reduce the risk of amputation.
“Making it easier for patients to access the services they need is a key priority for our government. Diabetic foot ulcers can be extremely debilitating, and if not properly treated, can negatively impact a person’s health and quality of life. We are making these wound care devices available free of charge to patients who need them in order to improve their healing and subsequently, their overall health.”
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
“The government's announcement today is excellent news for persons with diabetes who suffer from diabetic foot ulcers. The funding of offloading devices (pressure relieving), will prevent amputations and the devastating suffering and cost that result from them. We are proud that Ontario is the first province to provide universal funding for offloading devices for the treatment of foot ulcers and we encourage all other provincial governments across Canada to implement this evidence based cost saving therapy. The announcement is the culmination of a meaningful partnership between organizations representing nurses, physicians, other health professions and the public.”
Doris Grinspun, CEO, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO), and Mariam Botros, CEO, Wounds Canada
“Amputations are one of the most feared consequences of diabetes. Diabetes Canada recognizes the Government of Ontario’s leadership in providing public funding for offloading devices, which treat diabetic foot ulcers and prevent amputations. Diabetes Canada encourages the Government of Ontario to continue working on this issue, and encourages other provinces to follow Ontario’s leadership in helping Canadians living with diabetes with their foot care.”
Director of Government Relations, Ontario, Diabetes Canada