Charters are documents that outline expectations and obligations that are important to people requiring care. They may be used to persuade governments, regulators, and others to provide needed health and support services.
Patient group charters are not legal documents in the same way as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (for example, for use in court to gain access to something previously denied). However, with the support of advocates, allied organizations and key government officials, Charters can have a significant impact.
The Diabetes Charter for Canada
The Diabetes Charter for Canada presents a common vision: all people living with diabetes in Canada should be given the opportunity to manage their diabetes to the best of their ability and to achieve their full health potential through equal access to needed care and support.
About the Diabetes Charter for Canada
The Diabetes Charter for Canada confirms the rights and responsibilities of people living with diabetes, governments, service providers, employers, schools, preschools and daycares, as well as Diabetes Canada.
The Charter was developed in consultation with the Diabetes Canada National Advocacy Council, health-care providers, government representatives and people living with diabetes across the country.
At its most basic level, the Charter is a grassroots advocacy tool. Diabetes Canada will work with people with diabetes and other members of the diabetes community toward actualizing Charter content.
Over time, the principles and values promoted within the Charter about diabetes prevention, management, support and care will hopefully become the new standard for people living with diabetes.
The Charter can be used to:
- speak to policy makers and promote best care outcomes for people living with diabetes;
- increase awareness through stimulating dialogue about issues important to people with diabetes;
- improve supports for people living with diabetes; and
- highlight public policy concerns that impact the self-management of people living with diabetes (e.g. poverty, food security and food environment).
The charter is also supported by measures that are used to assess and report on the quality and accessibility of diabetes care, diabetes education, programs and services, medications and other supports.
The Charter is like a roadmap. It gives direction to everyone responsible for providing access to the best care for individuals living with diabetes, including diabetes educators like me.
Kathleen Nelson, advocate & diabetes educator
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