February 04, 2016

MS Panel Submits Recommendations to Government of Saskatchewan

Today, Health Minister Dustin Duncan received the recommendations of the 11 person Multiple Sclerosis Advisory Panel of Saskatchewan.  The panel’s report suggests options for improving treatment and support for people with MS and their caregivers, while expanding Saskatchewan’s capacity for MS research and education.

“I want to thank the panel members for committing their valuable time, experience, and expertise to produce this report,” Duncan said.  “These recommendations will guide our efforts in the coming years to improve the care and support for people affected by MS, and to advance MS research in Saskatchewan.”

The report outlines nine recommendations, including:

  • the establishment of an advisory council on degenerative neurological diseases;
  • the creation of a registry of Saskatchewan people diagnosed with MS;
  • a series of improvements – such as the recruitment of clinicians – to strengthen Saskatchewan’s ability to focus on MS care, training and research; and
  • ongoing funding for a multidisciplinary care team, a research leader and research support services.

“Our government plans to move forward on the advisory council and MS patient registry recommendations as quickly as possible,” Duncan said.  “The establishment of an advisory council will generate discussion and explore options for action on degenerative neurological diseases, while the creation of an MS patient registry will be a critical tool for facilitating MS research, and to monitor and improve patient care.”

The MS Panel was appointed by the Government of Saskatchewan in 2014 in order to provide recommendations on how to improve care and quality of life for MS patients in Saskatchewan.

“I would like to thank the patients and everyone who shared their ideas with the panel,” panel member and Saskatoon MS Clinic Director Dr Katherine Knox said.  “This enabled us to develop the nine recommendations.  I am encouraged by the government’s plan to move forward with the advisory council and MS patient registry as recommended. While it will take some time to get there, the recruitment of the clinical team that is needed in order to put the supports in place to help MS patients is critical.”

MS is a degenerative neurological disease that impairs or destroys the function of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.  About 3,700 Saskatchewan people are affected.

The full report is posted on www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/health/diseases-and-conditions/multiple-sclerosis.