MONTREAL, Oct. 21, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the world, and it continues to grow. Today, an estimated 100,000 Canadians have to live with this disease. "Approximately 20,000 Quebec families are affected by MS," according to Louis Adam, Executive Director of the Quebec Division of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. "It is crucial for elected officials in this province to have a better understanding of the issues related to this disease." In order to make parliamentarians more aware of the cause, the MS Society organized a presentation on Thursday, October 9, 2014, at the National Assembly. Three priority files concerning the services available to people with MS were presented: funding for MS clinics, which are in a precarious situation; possible housing options for adults with decreasing independence; and access to medications.
Urgent need for solutions other than long-term care facilities
"Multiple sclerosis is a complex degenerative disease that can have a huge impact on the adult life cycle," pointed out Jocelyne Cazin, spokesperson for the MS Society. Because of the lack of more appropriate resources, some people with multiple sclerosis have no other choice than to move to long-term care facilities, despite their youth and their need to continue to make decisions for themselves. "As proof that this is a serious situation, the Quebec Ombudsman's office even emphasized this issue in its last annual report," Ms. Cazin continued. In the Ombudsman's view, these people "need flexible service organization that fosters full social participation, which is hard to provide given the organization of care and services in CHSLDs."The Minister for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection and Public Health, Lucie Charlebois, who met with the MS Society's representatives, expressed her desire to contribute to ensuring that changes are soon made to the current system.
Multiple sclerosis clinics in a precarious situation
In the last three years, the directors of several MS clinics in Quebec have stated that they fear that the quality of services offered to people with MS will be reduced due to budget cuts. "It has been proven that good clinical support reduces the number of visits to the emergency department, hospitalizations, and days of sick leave," mentioned Dr. Pierre Grammond, neurologist and director of the MS Clinic at the Centre de réadaptation en déficience physique Chaudière-Appalaches. The MS Society has asked elected representatives to develop terms of reference on multiple sclerosis as soon as possible and ensure that MS clinics' operating budgets are raised so that they can better support their clients.
The MS Society would like to thank Massy Forget Langlois Public Relations for its generous support in organizing the presentation on October 9.
Mission of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada's mission is to be a leader in finding a cure for multiple sclerosis and enabling people affected by MS to enhance their quality of life.
 2013–2014 Annual Report, Quebec Ombudsman, page 85.
SOURCE: Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
For further information: Catherine-Eve Roy, Director of Communications, Quebec Division of the MS Society, [email protected], 514 849-7591, ext. 2285