People living with MS need more information to make the best choices for the benefit of their health.
"We are pleased to support the Canadian Institute for Health Information, working in collaboration with the provinces and territories, the Canadian Network of MS Clinics and the MS Society of Canada, in establishing this system devoted to monitoring the health of those diagnosed with MS," said Minister Aglukkaq. "The health and safety of Canadians is of the highest importance, and we need reliable, national information on MS to help those diagnosed with MS and their health care providers."
"We need reliable information on the health status of Canadians with MS, " said Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. David Butler-Jones. "Over the long term, this system will help monitor outcomes and identify the most effective therapies in the treatment of MS. The information can also help health system planners identify future needs and plan resource distribution more effectively, to ensure those diagnosed with MS have access to the care they need."
The new monitoring system will give Canadians living with MS, health care professionals, researchers, policy makers and Canadians a better understanding of disease patterns and the use of treatments across Canada. It will give their health care providers new information to support the delivery of care and potentially identify areas for improvement
Many Canadians are affected by MS and in fact, Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world.
"The Canadian Network of MS Clinics is pleased to be part of this new collaborative initiative," said Dr. Anthony Traboulsee, from the Canadian Network of MS Clinics. "Our clinics are dedicated to ensuring the best care for those diagnosed with MS and this system will help provide the information we need to do so."
MS Society President and CEO Yves Savoie also reiterated that there are many questions that still need to be answered. "We are pleased that the Government of Canada chose to support a national monitoring system for MS. People living with MS need more information to make the best choices for the benefit of their health."
The findings from this monitoring initiative will be reported to those with MS, health care professionals, researchers, policy makers, stakeholders and Canadians. The Government of Canada is sponsoring other MS research initiatives as well, and will fund clinical trials for the Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) treatment, if the scientific expert working group recommends clinical trials be undertaken, based on scientific evidence. The Public Health Agency of Canada is conducting a $15 million study of neurological conditions in the Canadian population over four years. To date, the Government of Canada has invested $49 million in MS-related research.