Submitted by Parkinson Canada
More than 100,000 people live with Parkinson’s in Canada with 30 more people diagnosed each day.
People living with Parkinson’s and their care partners need increased government support to improve on areas of greatest urgency, including reducing wait times for diagnosis, increasing access to care, and reducing costs for health care services and medications.
“I waited six months to see a neurologist, who told me not to worry, that it wasn’t Parkinson’s. Eighteen months later, I found out I was misdiagnosed! By this point, I had developed a tremor in my jaw and was having trouble swallowing,” explains Roberta Wilson Garrett. “It took me two years to finally be diagnosed. Through a Parkinson Canada workshop, I learned I could get a referral to a Movement Disorder Clinic (MDC), something I didn’t even know existed. I’m lucky to have access to an MDC, but many Canadians do not.”
Roberta is not alone – about one in five people with Parkinson’s wait more than a year to receive a formal diagnosis. Depending on the region they reside in, it can be much longer.
It’s time Canada had a system of care for people impacted by Parkinson’s.
No matter what, Parkinson Canada is committed to raising the voices of people affected by Parkinson’s. Together, we can keep the conversation going by calling on the government to prioritize Parkinson’s #PrioritizePD and improve health care for the Canadian Parkinson’s community.
Parkinson Canada is collaborating and consulting with people from across the country to determine what partnerships and resources must be in place to promote earlier diagnosis and a better system of care with increased access for all Canadians. Nine virtual roundtables of people living with Parkinson’s, care partners, health care providers, and community organizations will provide the foundation for this advocacy project. Over the coming months, up to 200 voices from across the country will provide insight and build recommendations on wait times, access to multidisciplinary care and an improved consistent approach to care.
The results of the roundtables will be shared by public webinar, along with tangible solutions that Parkinson Canada, our partners and advocates can bring to government to close these gaps in care for people in all stages of the disease. The initiative will also turn its efforts to raising and activating greater public awareness on behalf of people living with Parkinson’s.
Visit Parkinson Canada’s website for more information and to learn how you can get involved: parkinson.ca/advocacy