PHOTOS: Trudeau vows to save diabetic patients $1,700 per year in Brampton with national pharmacare plan

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Published March 8, 2024 at 11:37 am

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Brampton MP Sonia Sidhu stopped at Brampton’s Peel Memorial Centre on March 7, 2024. (Photo: William Osler Health System)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Brampton MP Sonia Sidhu stopped at Brampton’s Peel Memorial Centre on March 7, 2024. (Photo: William Osler Health System)

From pharmacare to diabetes treatments, doctors in Brampton have brought some of the city’s unique health care needs to the attention of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The prime minister made a stop at Brampton’s Peel Memorial Centre on Thursday along with Brampton MP Sonia Sidhu to learn about some of the health care challenges faced in the city, including a large number of diabetic patients.

As one of Ontario’s fastest-growing and culturally diverse cities, Osler says Brampton has the highest rate of diabetes across the province.

The federal government introduced a bill earlier this month that charts a course toward a universal pharmacare plan which, in the interim, will cover birth control and diabetes drugs and supplies. Alberta has already said it plans to opt out of the program, while Ontario is still considering opting in.

“Insulin, for example, can cost up to $1,700 per year. If our pharmacare legislation passes and becomes law, we’ll cover that cost,” Trudeau said in a post about the visit on social media.

The high rate of diabetic patients in Brampton has led the health system to roll out what it calls “comprehensive diabetes care and education” programs across its hospitals and sites, including Canada’s first Diabetes Education Centre accredited by Diabetes Canada.

“Today’s engaging conversation is important, as Osler’s health care teams continue to ensure that patients and families are supported in their diabetes journey and that the significant impacts of this serious disease on the health care system can be addressed by all levels of
Government,” the health system said in a release about Trudeau’s pit stop at Peel Memorial.

The Peel Memorial Centre is salted for a billion-dollar overhaul which includes plans for some 250 inpatient beds and space for more in the future, rehabilitation and continuing care services, enhanced mental health and addictions services, and additional services for seniors.

A site plan has shown what Peel Memorial Centre will look like once it is upgraded with a new 24-hour Emergency Department, replacing the existing Urgent Care Centre.

The visit to Peel Memorial was at least Trudeau’s fourth stop in Brampton in recent months, following an encounter with a pro-Palestinian protester caught on camera in November, a funding announcement of $114 million to kick-start the construction of housing in Brampton in October, and a surprise drop-in at the Gore Meadows Community Centre in September.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Brampton MP Sonia Sidhu stopped at Brampton’s Peel Memorial Centre on March 7, 2024. (Photo: William Osler Health System)

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