The provincial government is backing down on a previous plan for diabetes care.

It announced Thursday a working group is being formed to develop a comprehensive diabetes strategy.

Representatives from across Alberta will work to come up with a plan to meet the needs of the growing number of Albertans living with this chronic disease.

No changes will be made to the Insulin Pump Therapy Program and pumps using newer technology will be included.

"Meaningful change begins with meaningful conversations. This is why we are committed to consulting with Albertans living with diabetes to better understand their needs and challenges," Minister of Health Jason Copping said.

"The working group will help identify what is needed now and what actions will be needed in the future. I look forward to seeing their recommendations for developing a better and more sustainable system of care for the future."

The province says given the growing population of Albertans being diagnosed with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, a long-term care pathway needs to be determined so Albertans can manage their diabetes and lower the risk of adverse outcomes that increase cost and strain to the health-care system.

Government costs on diabetes medications, supplies and insulin pumps have increased by about 15 per cent annually and have nearly doubled over the last five years to $200 million. 

Costs are expected to double again in the next five years to $381 million if Alberta’s current system of care is not addressed.

The Diabetes Working Group will include patients, diabetes organizations, health professionals, researchers and health insurers.