Opinion Letters

MS treatment a must

(Re: 'MS decision disgusts patient's husband' in the July 30 edition of the Examiner)

An open letter to Alberta Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky

I heard you talking on the radio one morning and I was unable to phone in and speak so I am writing to you now.

I believe that first and foremost, all the multiple sclerosis (MS) patients in Alberta should be allowed to have scans to detect CCSVI and the angioplasty to fix their dangerously blocked veins.

This procedure is approved by health care and performed on kidney dialysis patients every day across Canada , when their jugulars collapse, but is denied to patients with a pre-existing condition called MS. This is total discrimination and should be rectified immediately.

Clinical trials should then take place to prove a link between MS and CCSVI. The people that should be involved in these trials are vascular and neurological doctors.

Currently, I have only seen nay-saying neuros getting the grant money for studies. Why would you call an electrician when you have plumbing issues?

My next point of contention is I do not, for one moment, believe the MS Societies of Canada have our best interests in mind. They have fought the CCSVI theory from day one. The only reason they finally jumped on board was they were losing revenue from donations, as folks were boycotting them for their negativity towards CCSVI.

When Canadians marched across the country on May 5 demanding our government to take note of CCSVI, the MS Society slithered in and used us to ask the government for $10 million for CCSVI research.

The MS Society's behaviour has been appalling and it should not be involved in anything to do with CCSVI, as it is obviously biased.

Based on preliminary studies, we all know that it's just a matter of time before they prove that there is a link between CCSVI and MS.

Unfortunately, MS patients cannot wait for years of research to conclude. Alberta should do the right thing and treat those with blocked veins now.

Dr. Sandy McDonald of Barrie estimated the angioplasty to cost around $1,500 per patient. That's a mere pittance when you compare it to the cost of the often toxic and ineffective drugs that we have been given.

This treatment would save billions in health-care spending in the long run.

We just need to ask our government if it thinks we with MS are worth it or will it continue to discriminate against us until we die?

I was lucky enough to have $10,000 to go overseas and be treated.

I am now 100% MS-symptom free.

Ginger MacQueen Calgary

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