Women's medical group applauds leadership shown by feds - New funding for HPV vaccine could help stop needless loss of women's lives


    OTTAWA, March 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Federation of Medical Women of Canada
commends the federal government for making $300 million over the next three
years available to the provinces and territories to support the launch of a
national program for GARDASIL(TM), the approved vaccine for HPV-related
diseases such as cervical cancer and genital warts. The Federation is now
challenging provincial governments to follow through and rapidly make the HPV
vaccination universally available.
    "With this new budget, the federal government is showing true leadership
with respect to women's health," said Dr. Gail Beck, President of the
Federation of Medical Women of Canada. "Last fall, we urged the federal
government to fund new vaccines, including GARDASIL(TM), which we believe is
the biggest medical breakthrough in women's health in many years. On
International Women's Day we reiterated our message of having the cost of this
vaccine covered and today the federal government has come through. We are now
looking to the provincial governments to help bring an end to cervical cancer
in Canada."
    Last fall, the Federation of Medical Women of Canada presented a brief to
the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance requesting funds for a
universal HPV vaccination program.
    In July 2006, GARDASIL(TM) was approved by Health Canada and in January
2007 the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommended that
all Canadian girls and women aged nine to 26 be routinely vaccinated with
GARDASIL(TM) to help protect them against cervical cancer, among other
HPV-related diseases.
    "GARDASIL(TM) has been approved, endorsed and now funded. It's time for
the provincial governments to step up to the plate and make universal access
to the HPV vaccine a reality," said Dr. Beck. "Each provincial government must
act rapidly to put a stop to the needless loss of life. One woman dies of
cervical cancer every day in this country and 1,400 more are diagnosed with
this deadly disease every year."

    About the FMWC

    The Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC) is a national
organization committed to the professional, social and personal advancement of
women physicians and to the promotion of the well-being of women both in the
medical profession and in society at large. Since its formation in 1924, the
FMWC has acted as a guardian for women physicians and medical students, giving
loans, mentoring and networking opportunities, and acting as an advocate for
women physicians and women's health in society. Most of the women physician
leaders in Canada have received their training and support through membership
in FMWC, which is an independent nation member of Medical Women's
International Association. For more information, visit www.fmwc.ca.

For further information:

For further information: Andrée Poirier, Executive Coordinator, FMWC,
(613) 569-5881, toll free: 1-877-771-3777, fmwcmain@fmwc.ca; Gail Beck, MD,
President, FMWC, (613) 569-5881, toll free : 1-877-771-3777, fmwcmain@fmwc.ca;
Yolande Leduc, MD, Family medicine, FMWC spokesperson, (450) 677-5247; Shirley
Hovan, MD, President of the Central Alberta Branch of the FMWC, (403)
346-2057; Shelley Ross, MD, Past president, FMWC, (604) 522-1960

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