Decision Maker

Jane Philpott

  • Minister of Health

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Petitioning Justin Trudeau

Stop #UnfairTaxChanges: Access to Canada's Health Care Threatened

On July 18, 2017, the Government of Canada, under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, announced its intentions to alter the current tax laws for small businesses. The impact of these proposed changes will be immense and disastrous. As hard-working members of society, small businesses provide the economic backbone of Canada. Small business owners receive none of the paid benefits that salaried employees do. The risks and costs of running a small business are high. Tax assistance is vital to ensure the survival of small businesses. Our Canadian doctors are independent of the government and run their clinics like small businesses without any support from the government. Without pensions or any benefits, such as sick leave, maternity leave, health benefits or paid vacation, physicians must independently cover all of the costs of running their offices. Costs include staffing, rent, utilities, all medical equipment/diagnostics, and all medical supplies on top of mandatory licensing and registration fees. This overhead can be between 30-60%. There are 88,000 physicians in Canada and the majority are self-employed.  Each office employs on average 4-6 staff. This allows our physicians to run accessible and efficient offices to help patients obtain medically necessary care. Elimination of tax arrangements which were legally negotiated to help physicians control the expense of running offices will impact patients directly. If these proposed taxation changes are passed, Canada’s doctors will be forced to downsize offices and lay off employees. Many provinces have had millions to billions in unilateral cuts to frontline patient care over the past few years. In Ontario alone, our doctors are now into their fourth year without a contract and there has been over $3.7 Billion unilaterally cut since 2015 by the provincial government from the patient services that our doctors provide. There are millions of patients in Canada without a family doctor and unprecedented wait times for specialists. Medical clinics are already struggling to stay afloat. With these federal tax changes, our physicians will be forced to further reduce clinic hours and cut patient services, ultimately leading to longer and longer wait times. Some physicians will close their offices and retire early or leave Canada. Patient accessibility of medical care in Canada already ranks third last amongst all of the wealthy countries (Commonwealth Fund). These tax changes will be further detrimental to Canada's already ailing health care system. Patients and their physicians deserve and need access to timely and quality medical care in Canada. We all deserve fair taxes to help promote small businesses and ensure their survival.   We the Undersigned, concerned patients and doctors of Canada, urge Prime Minister Trudeau to preserve fair small business tax laws and not further erode access to our precious health care system.  Patients can never come first when frontlines doctors are put last. #ProtectSmallBiz #StopMDExodus #CareNotCuts Please share this petition on Facebook and Twitter. For more information and to stay updated, please like and follow Concerned Ontario Doctors at We are Your Ontario Doctors on Facebook and @OnCall4ON on Twitter and Instagram. Thank you.  

Concerned Patients of Canada .
61,423 supporters
Petitioning New York State Senate

Naturopaths are not doctors: stop legitimizing pseudoscience

The purpose of this petition is to voice opposition to legitimizing naturopathy through state licensure and mandated insurance reimbursement. Naturopaths are attempting to become legally recognized as "primary care physicians" in all U.S. 50 states and become Medicare providers. This is a dangerous future. UPDATE: This petition has expanded to include Canada, where naturopaths are also aggressively lobbying for licensure in all provinces and inclusion in healthcare programs. In Canada and the U.S., naturopathic education is shared across the border via a common accrediting agency, the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (see below). Thus, a naturopath who graduated from Bastyr in Washington state can then become licensed in Ontario. It is only natural that opposition to NDs should be applied to all of North America. Naturopaths are not trained similar to physicians, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants. Naturopaths are trained in a hodgepodge of antiquated methods, mystical theories, and bare-bone fundamentals of medicine. Naturopathic students are required to master homeopathy, energy modalities, herbalism, chiropractic-like manipulations, and therapies involving heat and water. There is a strong emphasis on anti-vaccine promotion and alternative cancer treatments. This petition concerns naturopaths who graduated from programs approved by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education. These programs are attempting to circumvent comprehensive medical training by misrepresenting their academic rigor to lawmakers and the public. This is our chance to make a stand against pseudoscience masquerading as legitimate medicine. Please sign this petition to show your support for blocking naturopathic licensure, scope of practice expansion, and inclusion in federal and state health care programs. Naturopaths are not doctors, and they should not be treated as such. Below is a list of references with data and expert opinion on naturopathic education and practice: Atwood, Kimball C., IV (2003). "Naturopathy: A critical appraisal". Medscape General Medicine 5 (4): 39. Atwood IV, Kimball. C. (2004). "Naturopathy, pseudoscience, and medicine: Myths and fallacies vs truth". Medscape General Medicine 6 (1): 33. Barrett, Stephen (2013). "A close look at naturopathy". QuackWatch. Wilson, K. (2005). "Characteristics of Pediatric and Adolescent Patients Attending a Naturopathic College Clinic in Canada". Pediatrics 115 (3): e338–e343. Busse, Jason W.; Wilson, Kumanan; Campbell, James B. (2008). "Attitudes towards vaccination among chiropractic and naturopathic students". Vaccine 26 (49): 6237–6243. Wilson, Kumanan; Mills, Ed; Boon, Heather; Tomlinson, George; Ritvo, Paul (2004). "A survey of attitudes towards pediatric vaccinations amongst Canadian naturopathic students". Vaccine 22 (3-4): 329–334. Mielczarek, Eugenie V.; Engler, Brian D. (2014). "Selling Pseudoscience: A Rent in the Fabric of American Medicine". Skeptical Inquirer 38.3. Boon, Heather S.; Cherkin, Daniel C.; Erro, Janet; Sherman, Karen J.; et al. (2004). "Practice patterns of naturopathic physicians: Results from a random survey of licensed practitioners in two U.S. States". BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine 20 (4): 14. "Testimony in Opposition to H. 1992 and S. 1205, An Act to Create a Board of Registration in Naturopathy". Massachusetts Medical Society. Massachusetts Medical Society. Downey L, et al. (2010). "Pediatric vaccination and vaccine-preventable disease acquisition: associations with care by complementary and alternative medicine providers.". Matern Child Health J. 14 (6): 922–30. Lipson, Peter. (2016). Naturopaths: Fake Doctors in White Coats? Forbes. Caulfeild, Timothy. (2013). Don't legitimize the witch doctors. National Post. Palmer, Brian. (2014). Quacking All the Way to the Bank: Naturopaths are winning insurance coverage for medical nonsense. Slate. Various authors. Naturopathy vs Science. Bellamy, Jann. (2015). 2014: Chiropractors, naturopaths and acupuncturists lose in state legislatures. Hermes, Britt. (2015). ND Confession, Part 1: Clinical training inside and out. Hermes, Britt (2015). ND Confession, Part II: The Accreditation of Naturopathic “Medical” Education. Hermes, Britt. Naturopathic Diaries.      

Britt Marie Hermes
9,309 supporters
Petitioning UK Parliament, Jane Philpott, BBC

Make Psilocybin tablets legalised & END Mental Health

Hello Recently over the weekend my father who suffers severe mental health issues , which have been passed down to myself and brother. He was arrested due to suspected murder of his partner who suffered years of illness , but had being proved it was a  pulmonary embolism . my dad was arrested, accused and injured by the local service, which have no training in mental health. Doctors hand out tablets as fast as the handcuffs are placed on innocent people who get the blame for the lack of so called ( procedure ) it needs to be addressed and realize this causes trauma.  The whole point is i stopped my 200 mg sertraline last June , after 5 years it was hard, luckily i have a family member who is a owner of a vitamin store with 30+ years experience, we went on a retreat which changed my life. I think one person who cares to give there all and help people with more knowledge then a private hospital constantly researching and providing natural solutions is a hero.  And if you want to help someone please get this changed by signing the petition. psilocybin micro-dosed has changed my life , it is proven but like any herbal natural medicine that cures a problem this including ( depression, anxiety etc ) is banned as a reason we all know but cant point the finger.  Ban Sugar , Ban Alcohol , Ban Cigarettes , This is how money is made and really proves the BAD things which don't help any long term illness. We all know why these would never be made illegal. By taking a tiny amount daily , i noticed a immediate change , i couldn't believe my memory , my calm state, my whole mind was almost cleared of the dark place it had been in, i can have a day which may be not the best but this is due to my own sensitive self which is normal, normal doesn't have any meaning. But being self helping is so important. so this needs to be made legal , i don't get why all tablets handed out is not illegal, herbal plants, mind re-training including meditation and retreats to the most affected need to be organised , please click this link to understand the benefits of the herbal medicine that needs to take over the non natural tablets which have worse affects then they are worth.   *PLEASE SHARE AND HELP GET A LIFE CHANGING IMPACT ON STOPPING ALL MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AND STOP SUICIDE FOR GOOD * *MALES WITH ISSUES ARE SUFFERING MORE , PLEASE FOLLOW US FOR MORE SUPPORT , THIS IS A NEW PROJECT SO PLEASE HELP AND SHARE TO GET IT RECOGNITION ☺️   INSTAGRAM : MEN2HELP  

Mark Summers
7,483 supporters
Petitioning Justin Trudeau

No Plain Packaging for Cigars and Pipe Tobacco in Canada

Health Canada is currently planning to bring in plain packaging for all tobacco products in Canada, including premium cigars and pipe tobacco. It warrants asking: What good this accomplishes?  They’re censoring product that already exists in a dark market.  Censoring products sold in adult only dedicated tobacconists already blackened from public view.  Beyond picking on and discriminating against a tiny percentage of the Canadian population for no significant gain, what do they accomplish? It will not lower smoking rates however the unintended consequences are significant.  It will infringe on the personal rights of individuals.  Premium cigars and pipe tobacco are consumed exclusively by Canadian adults.  Despite representing less than 5% of tobacco consumption in Canada; Cigarillos, Cigars and Pipe Tobacco face punitive and excessive taxes, graphic harassment on packaging and more regulation than nearly any other product in Canada.  Health Canada has succeeded in educating individuals on the risk and those that choose to use the product should be allowed to do so freely.  The notion that a cigar smoker would choose a particular cigar based on packaging shows their ignorance of the product and the consumers.  Taste is king, cost is second.  Packaging is rarely considered.  The packaging is part of a rich and beautiful heritage but is not the driving force of sales. It will cost more tax dollars that will have to be spent enforcing and implementing these regulations for no gain.  Health Canada funding that could be used to invest in our very cash strapped health care system.  It will be directly responsible for eliminating small and independent businesses across the country that depend on tourist spending.  What tourist will want to give a gift that looks nothing like it should?  Crushing companies that generate more tax revenue per dollar earned than any other industry in Canada.    It will blossom an already significant Black Market.  Every action like this drives consumers to shop outside of Canada or on the Black Market within, eliminating tax revenue and hurting the independent shops and distributors that sell this product.  The amount of tobacco consumed by Canadians outside of the legal, tax generating system is fast eclipsing what is purchased domestically.  Actions like this encourage a Black Market and help it to grow and thrive, eliminating billions of dollars in tax revenue.  The government keeps citing England as a model that they’re following, but England omitted premium tobacco products from their plain packaging policy after careful consideration.  Why ignore that? This is moving towards prohibition and prohibition has proven not to work.  Enough is enough.  It’s ironic and hypocritical that a government in the midst of repealing prohibition for marijuana is marching towards it for a different product.  Do we not have greater concerns the government should be focusing on than a small segment of the population that enjoys the finer consumption of tobacco?  Is this the society we want to live in?  Where everything that doesn't fit into a 'healthy' world as narrowly envisioned by bureaucrats and policy makers far removed from everyday Canadians is regulated to the point of being eliminated?  If that's the case then we should start seeing the same regulations for alcohol, marijuana, sugary drinks, fatty foods, violent sports, cars, television, arts.... Individuals have to be able to make their own lifestyle choices without the government interjecting at an invasive level.  Society should be a place that lets people indulge in luxuries that give their life enjoyment.  That is a healthy society.  Not this tyrannical world they're working to create that values a dull long life over a life truly lived.

Phil Turcotte
4,862 supporters
Petitioning Justin Trudeau, Bill Morneau, Jane Philpott, Tom Mulcair, Andrew Scheer

Take action – Tax changes will impact your future …

To all Canadians, On July 18, 2017, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau on behalf of the Department of Finance and the Government of Canada released Tax Planning Using Private Corporations. This document calls for drastic changes to the taxation of small business owners and specifically targets professionals in Canada.  Specifically, the Liberals are proposing changes to: income sprinkling using private corporations; holding an investment portfolio inside a private corporation; the lifetime capital gains exemption; and converting private corporation income into capital gains.  The impacts of these changes are yet to be fully understood or measured, but they will be significant to all professionals now and in the future.  We are not treated like other public servants: we do not get a benefits package, paid maternity leave, pension plans, vacation pay, or sick leave. The right to incorporate and the associated tax benefits were negotiated by our provincial associations years ago in lieu of benefits and raises. This was done to cut government healthcare spending, and now that those negotiations are forgotten, the government is trying to take these benefits away. We rely on our corporations to run the business-end of our practices (purchasing medical-grade equipment, staff, overhead, rent, computer technology, protecting patient records and so on). The trade-off allowed us to do the job of caring for our patients, while still caring for our families, our children and our retirement. Let us be clear: we respect the law. The investment strategies we employ by way of our corporations are not “tax loopholes”. In the absence of reasonable alternatives we use our corporations as a long-term saving strategy to fund our pension. In other countries doctors are provided with basic benefits in addition to their wages which we are not. We need to be able to realize these tax savings to balance the scales. Without the tax benefits of incorporation, it will be difficult for us to continue with the care we wish to provide our patients. In recent years, the provinces have had billions in unilateral cuts to frontline patient care. In Ontario alone, over $3 Billion has been unilaterally cut since 2015 by the provincial government from the patient services which doctors provide. With these federal tax changes, some physicians will close their offices and retire early or leave Canada altogether. Ultimately leading to longer and longer wait times and lower quality of patient care. Patient accessibility of medical care in Canada already ranks third last amongst the commonwealth countries. In our opinion, the proposed tax changes will be a further detriment to Canada's already ailing health care system. We, concerned Canadians, urge you to reconsider your proposed changes to private corporations, and to maintain benefits for small business owners. Prime Minister Trudeau,  please preserve fair small business tax laws and not further erode access to our health care system.  Patients can never come first when frontline physicians are put last. For anyone reading this, we encourage you to get involved in this process by contacting the Department of Finance as they are looking for comments on the proposals  We also encourage you to reach out to your local MP to voice your concerns as they represent your voice in parliament, This petition will be delivered to: Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau Minister of Finance Bill Morneau Minister of Health Jane Philpott Leader of the Official Opposition of Canada and Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada Andrew Scheer Leader, New Democratic Party of Canada Tom Mulcair

Imperial Lifestyle Management
4,734 supporters
Petitioning Jane Philpott, Justin Trudeau, Bruce Archibald, Jane Philpott, Lawrence MacAulay


To: Prime Minister Justin TrudeauPrime Minister's Office80 Wellington StreetOttawa, OntarioK1A 0A2 CanadaTel: (613) 992-4211Fax: (613) 941-6900 cc: Hon. Jane PhilpottMinister of HealthHealth CanadaOttawa, Canada Hon. Lawrence MacAulayCanadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-FoodOttawa, Canada  Dr. Bruce ArchibaldPresident/CEOCanadian Food Inspection AgencyOttawa, Background, purpose and objective of this petition Canada has literally become the slaughterhouse of horses for human consumption and export to the EU and Asia. The US has banned and outlawed the slaughter and export of horses for human consumption in 2007. Since then, Canada has been importing live horses from the US to be slaughtered in Canada and exported to the EU and Asia for human consumption. Between 2006- July 2015, Canada slaughtered a total of 685,510 horses; an average of 60% of these horses were imported from the US. All of the horses are slaughtered in Quebec and in Alberta, Canada by the following horse slaughter company: These horses are bought at auctions in both the US and in Canada for as low as $ 0,30/pound by agents/suppliers of the slaughter houses (i.e. Kill Buyers) and then shipped thousands of miles by trucks in cruel conditions to be slaughtered in Canada in horrific and horrendous conditions. Many other horses are shipped live by air to Japan for slaughter and human consumption in Japan. It is both unsafe and highly unethical to slaughter and consume horse meat. These horses are not raised and bred to be slaughtered for human consumption. Most of these horses were raised and bred for human companionship and for the US horse race industry using toxic drugs which are toxic, dangerous and unfit for human consumption. For example, many of these horses are injected and treated with phenylbutazone, a known carcinogen that is banned from use in any animal bred for human consumption. Furthermore, horses are companions to humans just like dogs and other pets; it is therefore highly unethical to slaughter and export horses for human consumption. An Ipsos-Reid poll reveals that nearly 2/3 of Canadians do not support the slaughter of horses for human consumption. The vast majority of horses slaughtered in Canada are exported and consumed in Europe and in Asia. The vast majority of Canadians do not consume horse meat and do not support this industry. Over 64% of Canadians surveyed believe that the slaughter of horses in Canada for human consumption must be abolished on ethical grounds. In fact, we as human beings have a moral obligation to protect horses and other defenseless weaker sentient Beings from such horrific, horrendous and barbaric practices. Please watch and share the following leaked video footages of the horrific and horrendous slaughtering of horses for human consumption in Canada and decide for yourself: What to do ? Canada must ban and outlaw the slaughter and export of horses for human consumption. NDP MP Alex Atamanenko previously introduced two Bills to end the slaughter and export of horses for human consumption in Canada. Tragically, however, PM Stephen Harper and the majority of Conservative MP's voted against it. In January 2014, MP Alex Atamanenko introduced a third Bill (C-571), an Act to amend the Meat Inspection Act and the Safe Food for Canadians Act, prohibiting conveying, importing or exporting horses or horse meat for human consumption, with the exception of horses that are raised from birth with lifetime medical records. Tragically, however, former PM Stephen Harper and the majority of his Conservatives MP again voted against Bill C-571. Happily, however, Mr Justin Trudeau voted in favor of both bills. Fortunately, Canadians have recently voted out PM Harper and his Conservative cronies and elected a majority liberal government headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. We therefore hereby demand that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Liberal Members of Parliament and his majority government promptly draft and pass legislation to ban and outlaw the slaughtering and export of horses for human consumption in Canada. As Mahatma Gandhi rightly stated: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”  You can find detailed information about this alarming issue from the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition at the following website and blog links: Thank you for signing and widely sharing this petition. Please also email/fw a copy of this petition to your local MP and call him/her to ask him/her to either draft and/or vote in favour of a Bill to ban and outlaw the slaughter and export of horses for human consumption in Canada. You can easily find your local MP using your postal code at this link: Thank you for helping save these defenseless and voiceless sentient Beings and to ban and outlaw the horrific and horrendous slaughter of horses for human consumption in Canada. Sincerely, Arya        

Arya Vrilya
3,571 supporters
Petitioning Justin Trudeau, Carolyn Bennett, Eric Hoskins, Jane Philpott

Develop a National Strategy to help combat and lower Indigenous suicide rates

The current state of affairs in a small First Nations community in Northern Ontario with a population of about 2000 named Attawapiskat reinforces the urgent and pressing need for a National Strategy to lower and ultimately combat the extremely high and disproportionate rates of Indigenous suicide.  Early last April, 11 people in Attawapiskat tried to commit suicide in one night. [4] Among them was a 10 year old girl. A state of emergency due to the suicide epidemic in the small community of Attawapiskat was declared almost a year ago yet nothing drastic has been done to target and solve this problem ensuring long term and future success.  The rate of suicide in Indigenous communities is 100 per 100,000 people while the rate among Canadians is 10 per 100,000 people. This number makes no sense as the population of Indigenous peoples is only 4.3% of the total Canadian population. Canada is rated to be one of the countries with the best standard of living yet so many people are still suffering.  Attempting to combat these dramatically high rates of Indigenous suicide would lead to the acknowledgement of the unique underlying factors that can lead to suicide when it comes to Indigenous populations; a report conducted by Statistics Canada concluded that Indigenous suicide could be correlated with the residential school experience [1].  This would lead to the recognition of the different inequalities and challenges Indigenous peoples face. Suicide is a choice that one has to make on their own but as a society we can help address the different underlying causes behind the disproportionately high suicide rates of Indigenous peoples in Canada which may lead to more people making a DIFFERENT choice. Indigenous people are still being affected by colonialism and the aftermath of colonialism can definitely be correlated with the dramatically high suicide rates in Indigenous communities [2].  In addition, the Residential school experience has been linked to high rates of mental illness, child abuse and family breakdown in Indigenous populations, all of which are associated with suicidal thoughts [3]. On October 28 2011, Attawapiskat  declared a state of emergency due to a housing crisis their small community was facing. 5 years later in April of 2016, a state of emergency was declared in the same place but this time due to a suicide epidemic; it is obvious the two are correlated and one cannot be fixed unless the other is addressed. Ideally, by creating a National Strategy addressing the disproportionately high Suicide rates in Indigenous communities the root causes contributing to this issue will be acknowledged. Reconciliation and resolution cannot be achieved unless they are addressed.  We are pleading with the Government of Canada, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs and the Minister of Health to collaborate with the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, the Indigenous communities, the Chiefs Councillors and the Councillors of the various bands of Canada and develop a National strategy to address the disproportionately high Indigenous Suicide rates. References: [1] Statistics Canada. 2016. "Lifetime suicidal thoughts among First Nations living off reserve, Métis and Inuit aged 26 to 59: Prevalence and associated characteristics". [2] The Canadian Encyclopedia. 2016. "Suicide among Indigenous Peoples in Canada".  [3] Aboriginal Healing Foundation. 2007. "Suicide Among Aboriginal Peoplein Canada" [4] CBC News. 2016. "Dying from hopelessness': Attawapiskat desperate to stop suicide pandemic" [5] Global News. 2016. "Attawapiskat’s suicide emergency is no surprise to anyone paying attention"    

Amanda Owusu
3,435 supporters
Petitioning Jane Philpott

Help Internationally-qualified Canadian doctors and surgeons to help resolving shortages

Historically, Canada has suffered from doctors shortage in one hand and in the other hand; there are more than 10,000 internationally qualified Canadian and permanent resident doctors and surgeons waiting to pass the hassles to be enrolled in the Canadian system.      Several thousands are now working the survival jobs by driving taxis and delivering pizza, and several thousands have gone to other countries including the USA and the United Kingdom, including myself.      Canadian Universities attract the Oil-rich countries to bring their doctors to be highly qualified professionals before they go back to their countries and leave Canadian citizens behind; where if a Canadian doctor was trained instead; he/she would've stayed and served the community.      Internationally qualified doctors can't work easily if they had their residency/fellowship training outside the US or Canada, and there is no system for direct enrolment for highly qualified doctors who work in senior positions in the USA and the United Kingdom.     Doctors are ready to practice in different levels of seniority; there must be a system to accept doctors at any level and involve them in the system and train them slowly. The system should allow senior doctors to work at their appropriate level as a service contract and not necessarily to be affiliated with a University medical school.  

Dr Firas El-Hanafi
2,263 supporters
Petitioning Justin Trudeau, Jane Philpott, Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR), Science Advisory Board (SAB), The Honourable Patricia Hajdu, P.C., M.P., Public Health Agency o...

Provide HSCT for Multiple Sclerosis as a recognized treatment option.

Canada has one the highest rates  of Multiple Sclerosis in the world.  Multiple Sclerosis is a debilitating  disease that greatly affects families due to its unrelenting degenerating nature. This is a human rights issue, (also very strongly a women's issue as 75-80% of this autoimmune disease are women), a family issue, people with disabilities issue, and an economic issue.   3 out of every 4 people with MS are women.  (this is a horrifically miserable disease for anyone, however, - male or female). (reference -   Without this treatment people with MS develop disability which can not be reversed, shortened lives from accumulated disability. Please sign this petition so MS patients and those with autoimmune diseases which can be improved with HSCT can receive appropriate treatment in Canada with the support of their family and specialist doctors If you had a malignant, but slowly developing cancer, and were otherwise healthy, you would get be able to get chemotherapy  [a Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT)] to stop the cancer.   Why can’t anyone see that this should be the same for people with MS (or any other autoimmune disease that can be halted by a reset). ?   The deviant immune system is wiped out by chemo - then you are reinfused with your own stem cells which regrow back your immune system - with no memory to attack the myelin (nerve coating). MS is a degenerative disease in which you suffer continual loss – is that not malignant? .  It almost seems like there is a deliberate stalling offering  this procedure as a widespread option for people with MS. There is too much making money off of people suffering from this malady, rather than halting it. There are  approximately 100,000 people with MS in Canada. MS drugs for "slowing" permanent nervous system degeneration cost  between $40,000 and $50,000 per year.  That means there are several  billion dollars spent every year in Canada on MS drugs  to slow the disease.  However, even with HSCT as a recognized treatment there is still room for a lot of money to be made by drug companies in repairing MS, and to lessen the uncomfortable symptoms that go along with nerve damage, and for those people who do not want to go through the grueling process of HSCT.  Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) - This is not a new medical procedure; it has been performed millions of times all around the world since the 1960's for treatment of cancer (now approximately 50,000 times per year) and has been used successfully to cure several types of hematologically-rooted autoimmune disorders since the early 1990's (such as MS, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, CIDP and others). People should be allowed this treatment as an option. However, as it involves chemotherapy,  the treatment is both uncomfortable and expensive.  (There is an extremely small chance of morbidity – in the area of 1% - safer than getting deadly PML from immune suppressant medications for MS if you take the same drug for a long period of time).  However, to clarify, this is no longer an experimental treatment it is widespread available worldwide  but only for those of us with the cash.  In Canada, more than a dozen years ago, at Ontario Hospital, Dr. Freedman has partnered with Dr. Harry Atkins, a clinician/researcher, in treating MS patients with stem cell bone marrow transplants. In essence, they take stem cells from an MS patient and purify and fortify them. The patient undergoes extreme chemotherapy to all but annihilate their diseased immune systems. The robust stem cells are then returned to the patient to rebuild a new immune system.  For a small segment of people with Multiple Sclerosis, there is some repair, but IMPORTANTLY  for almost everyone the disease progression is HALTED.     That saves money – no longer $40,000- $50,000.00 per year medicines such as Tecfidera, Tysabri, Gilenya, Copaxone, natalizumab, etc.   RE: CURRENT ACCEPTED TREATMENTS - DRUGS ONLY None of the MS drugs ARREST MS.  These drugs’ only claims are to perhaps reduce exacerbations by certain percentages, with no guarantees.   All of these drugs have side effects, some very serious,  as well.  None of the drugs have any guarantee of halting MS, only slowing it.   HSCT halts MS in about 80-85% of all patients who have had HSCT; even for the 20% that it hasn't halted, it slows  the progression - better results than any of the drugs on the market.   Re: Copaxone  - an immune modifier.   (Personally I had a severe idiopathic allergic reaction-  including chronic urticaria and angio-edema , from Copaxone that caused me to have to go to emergency at least 12 times over a  1 ½ year period- after I  discontinued using it.   I had to see many specialists to try to get my system under control.  I had to be equipped with an Epi-pen.  At one time at emergency I had to be hooked up to an EKG, as I was getting chest pains.   All from my immune system being aggravated and modified by a supposed “safe” MS treatment).  Insult on injury, my MS still progressed even though I had taken it. The interferons (Avonex, Rebif, Betaseron and Extavia) and glatiramer acetate (Copaxone), have been shown to reduce the frequency of relapses by about one-third. This means that a person having three relapses a year will hopefully only experience two relapses a year.*   (reference *  Most drugs are either immune MODIFIERs or immune suppressants.   The immune modifiers can cause all sorts of immune disorders  (Histamine Intolerance was mine).    In comparison - there is a far higher cumulative level of fatalities from approved  MS immune suppressant treatments – (which are also expensive at about $50,000.00 per year )-  examples - - Gilenya, Tecfidera, Tysabri, etc.,  than there  is from HSCT.   - all of  these drugs which have a higher morbidity rate than HSCT  used for MS has ever had.   Even when taking immune suppressant drugs for MS,  MS attacks and lesion progression do still occur.  Drugs do not halt MS but are to reduce the number of attacks..    Because this drug suppresses the immune system, you are vulnerable to getting PML – a deadly brain disease.  I have had to have monthly blood and urine tests to watch my body chemistry.    And I am still getting lesions, all the while now being at risk for a deadly brain disease.    How is this better than HSCT? The other type of MS medications are immune suppressants, which also are quite scary; these links are discussing a deadly brain disease you may develop after taking these drugs for a time:  HSCT - HSCT works by partially or completely erasing the body's immune system memory. This effects a beneficial change of the body's overall B- and T-lymphocyte epitope (antigen binding)repertoire, inactivating autoimmunity (making the body's immune cells "antigen naive") which results in restoration of immune self tolerance. This is often referred to as "resetting" the immune system which stops the underlying MS disease activity & progression.  This is not experimental treatment - this is basically the same procedure used for many forms of cancer.   What is more unfair and  sad is that this treatment is widely available if you happen to have the cash.   It has created a two tier health care system –  better healthcare for those who can pay. It especially penalizes those who need it the most, people with families as they would think twice about taking out a  $55,000.00 to $150,000.00 USD loan or mortgage to cover the treatment which is available in many many countries.   This is wrong.   TWO TIERED HEALTH CARE SYSTEM -  HSCT FOR THE HAVES - NONE FOR THE HAVE NOTS HSCT (Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation) availability in Canada is important because many people with MS are now travelling overseas to countries such as, USA,  Israel, Russia, Singapore, and Mexico at costs of up to $200,000. Why are these countries running these treatments, having success and yet Canada is not?  Canada has the facilities and the specialists who are ready and able. This procedure is currently readily available here for other illnesses but not for people with MS.  Canada is a leading country for our haematologists who perform chemotherapy on a regular basis.  We could easily become a world leader for  this procedure for autoimmune diseases like MS as it is the same procedure performed for cancer.  Even insurance companies are eyeballing plans for providing money for MS stem cell treatments.  “access the best medical care, by covering treatments not covered by OHIP, including out-of-country treatments” There are 2 types of HSCT – abelative and non-abelative.   Hematopoietic means using your own stem cells, no donor issues – the likelihood of developing cancer is nil because you are using your own immune system.  1.     ABELATIVE is the most harsh as they completely wipe out the immune system right down to the bone marrow.  This one is the one with the most risk, but also is the one that has the highest success at permanently stopping MS.  You  quite often have to get reimmunized for many diseases after one year of allowing your  new immune system to  repopulate and develop. 2.     NON-ABELATIVE wipes out the immune system but you keep your bone marrow immunity.   It is not a high risk at all.   You could almost go without the reinfusion of stem cells as you retain your bone marrow immunity.   It is the one where you could possibly get MS back – but even if you did the return/progression would be very slow.   You would probably not see any MS activity for many years.   Still would be many years without needing to use MS drugs.     85% or better would never see another MS development again.   This type is ideal for older patients.   Thank you for reviewing the above.   It would be wonderful if  Canada would be the first to step up to the plate and offer this treatment on a widespread basis.   Other countries are skirting it but offering it for pay, especially internationally.    It would definitely be a written line in history books.  Too many  companies are making money off of drugs, which the government pays for through Pharmacare, etc.  (again only slowing the degeneration at best – which is not effective or good enough for us with this disease.) – they need to change direction and make drugs to address myelin repair,  reducing post chemo effects,  spend more focus on other diseases). More money in both the governments pockets, and returning people to a better, more productive life.  I think it would be wonderful worldwide to be the first to get going with this.   This would be the first step for a cure for MS. 1.     This saves money – no more $40,000.00 to 50,000.00 per year for whatever MS drug of choice. 2.     Lower the quantity of people needing to be hospital institutionalized in later life.  Because of its’ relentless degenerative nature, people with MS will usually, after 10 years or more become, wheelchair bound, needing all kinds of  expensive, adaptive equipment. When they get older most will need home care, or institutionalization.   If arrested earlier, this cost will never be needed. 3.     Grow the middle class - It is the exacerbations that interfere with working – if no more attacks, the disability is arrested, many may be able to return to work and get off of disability.  We have one of the world’s highest rates of MS in this country. 4.    WOMAN'S RIGHT ISSUE   3 out of every 4 people with MS are women. About 75-80% of MS cases arise with women- most all cases of both sexes arise in the 40’s affecting people in their most important period for a working career, also the age that many people have dependent children. 5.     On the world stage  - we would look very progressive and put out there what is already known – we can halt MS. 6.     Gets rid of an unfair 2 tier health system – the wealthier with money just simply pay to get it done.  For the middle class person with families – they face losing everything because to raise this money means removing all capital they own to raise the funds – at the expense of their family homes, children’s post secondary schooling and opportunities.  7.     There is no downside to this – it can only be a way to increase money for federal coffers to spend in other more productive way for  our country. 8.     This gives people with MS hope and an opportunity to rejoin the working world. 9.     Canada is a world class cancer treating destination – the exact chemotherapy procedures used to eliminate cancer are also used for MS.   The earlier we allow these treatments, the better chance we become a worldwide leader in MS treatment. 10.     By accepting stem cell treatments for MS,   we do not have to waste any more time with the cost of stem cell trials for  halting MS.   Stem cell trials can be focused on other diseases, and  continuing with stem cell trials for repairing for MS and all other diseases that have not yet been as well tested.  11.  We can never find a CURE for MS unless we STOP it first!  

Jacquelyn Sherst
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