(This March 21, the NDP member for the Welland Riding called on the federal government to support sugery that may improve the lives of MS patients. Niagara At Large is posting a media release on this matter below.)
OTTAWA – Many Canadians living with MS see hope in the Chronic Cerebro-Spinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) surgery treatment and feel it should be made available in Canada, according to Malcolm Allen.
The MP for Welland brought that message to parliament today, as he tabled a large petition calling on the Minister of Health to make CCSVI, also known as liberation therapy or the Zamboni treatment, available to more Canadians by making it available in Canada.
The procedure itself is relatively common for non-MS patients with blockages in their veins. Developed by Italian Dr. Paolo Zamboni with early reports of significant improvements for MS patients, the treatment has become a beacon of hope in the MS community.
Currently, people who want liberation therapy have to travel abroad because it has not been approved by Health Canada. The high cost of travel and the treatment itself mean that only MS patients with enough money are able to receive it.
“Today, we have hope for MS sufferers across this country and we are denying them based on the fact that we will not have a pilot project,” Allen told the House of Commons. “That, in my view, is discriminatory and we ought to start the project, not yesterday but last week. Let us get on with it.”
“We know the methodologies. We know the science”, said Allen. “Let us move forward and give those who suffer from MS in this country the ability to hope once again that indeed they may have a better quality of life than they endure today.”
Allen presented the petition on behalf of thousands of MS sufferers across the country, including Welland resident Karen Cyopik who travelled abroad to receive the treatment in February of this year.
“I think it’s sad that we have to go out of the country to get a treatment like this,” said Cyopik who indicated that her quality of life has improved since the treatment and “would do it again in a heartbeat.”
(Please share your views on this matter below and visit Niagara At Large at www.niagaraatlarge.com for more news and commentary on matters of interest and concern to our greater Niagara region and beyond.)