By Denise Magi, Vice-President of MEAO
On November 5th the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Association of Ontario (MEAO) celebrated its Community Engagement Day at Queen’s Park. At the event the Ontario government announced the status of the Business Case proposal for the Ontario Centre of Excellence in Environmental Health (OCEEH). The proposal was submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care one year ago and provided a bold plan for addressing environmental health.
Five percent of Ontario’s population is affected by the often overlapping, commonly disabling and sometimes life-threatening conditions of ES/MCS (Environmental Sensitivities/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity), ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and FM (Fibromyalgia).
“As a physician, Minister Eric Hoskins appreciates the impact of these conditions on the lives of many Ontarians and wants to ensure the appropriate recognition of these conditions. We are committed to working to achieve the aims of the proposal,” said John Fraser, Parliamentary Assistant to Minister Eric Hoskins speaking at the event. “One of the components of the business case was a request to fund an extra year of specialty training in environmental health at the University of Toronto. Our government listened to that request and in April of this year, we announced nearly $560,000 to support two new annual fellowships over three years for a total of six new fellowships.”
John Fraser further detailed the establishment of an inter-ministerial Task Force to raise the profile on environmental health conditions with the business case acting as a platform. The Task Force will include representation from the Interim Steering Committee, along with other, key stakeholders.
The implementation of the Ontario Centre of Excellence in Environmental Health is urgent in order to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of Ontario patients who have chronic complex environmentally linked illnesses.
HOW YOU CAN HELP TO GET POSITIVE ACTION FROM GOVERNMENT
Support from patients, families, friends, health professionals and other interested citizens is unequaled in ‘message power’ to politicians. Now is the time to make your voice and your needs heard.
Please click here for a sample letter supporting the immediate implementation of the Ontario Centre of Excellence in Environmental Health. You can use this sample, sign and send to the Minister of Health and Long Term Care, as well as your own local MPP. Please copy the Premier’s office.