Dear [Mr., Ms.] [Candidate last name]:
As a voter in [your riding], I am writing to my candidates in this provincial election and asking them to #TakeActionForMS.
[Personal comments inserted here]
Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the world. This disease usually strikes a person in the prime of their lives, between the ages of 20 and 49, and impacts women at three times the rate as men.
MS is the most common neurological disease among young adults in Canada and is a costly disease for both the health system and Canadian society more broadly. To better understand the effects of the pandemic on the well-being of our community, and inform potential solutions, MS Canada commissioned a report on the impact and economic cost of COVID-19 on MS in Canada. The findings raise significant concerns. The reduction in health service access, coupled with the social and physical isolation from lockdowns, resulted in the accumulation of unmet health needs including:
- Delayed MS diagnosis.
- Delayed, altered, or halted treatments.
- Suspended or altered rehabilitation.
The ongoing effects of unmet health needs, combined with the overall strain on the health system in Canada, continues to compound the challenges faced by the MS community. Challenges like the financial difficulties as families try to make ends meet, the struggles faced in the workplace, the frustrating barriers to accessing treatments, and MS care and housing.
There are clear ways to address the burden:Make Access a Reality
Provide better access to care, treatment, and rehabilitation for Manitoba’s MS community. Access to treatment and care has been especially challenging in recent years, and it is critical the next provincial government takes action to address these challenges.Improve Diagnosis
A report commissioned by MS Canada found the COVID-19 pandemic led to delayed MS diagnoses for many Canadians. Delays in receiving an MS diagnosis delays starting on disease-modifying therapies (DMTs), which reduce relapses and slow disability progression in MS.Make Ends Meet
Ensure the forthcoming federal Canada Disability Benefit, designed to lift Canadians living with disabilities out of poverty, aligns with provincial benefit programs so Manitobans living with disabilities are better supported. Ensure no provincial support programs for people living with disabilities are decreased because of this new federal benefit.
Please let me know if I can count on you to #TakeActionForMS this election by replying to my email and by posting on your social media channels tagging MS Canada and using the hashtag #TakeActionForMS.
[First and Last Name]