February 4, 2016 1:41 pm
Updated: February 4, 2016 6:16 pm

MS panel outlines recommendations for provincial government

A MS panel submitted a variety options to the provincial government Thursday, to help improvement MS treatment, support, research and education.

Rogelio V. Solis / The Associated Press

REGINA – The Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Advisory Panel of Saskatchewan has submitted nine recommendations to the government to help improve MS treatment, support and research.

The panel was appointed by the provincial government in 2014 to provide suggestions to improve care and quality of life for people diagnosed with MS, a degenerative neurological disease. According to the province, around 3,700 Saskatchewan residents are affected by MS – the highest per-capita rate in the country.

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On Thursday, the 11-person panel gave their recommendations to Health Minister Dustin Duncan.

The recommendations include creating a registry of Saskatchewan residents who are diagnosed with MS, establishing an advisory council on degenerative neurological diseases, and ongoing funding for a multidisciplinary care team, research leader, and research support services.

The panel also called for a series of improvements, like the recruitment of clinicians, to strengthen Saskatchewan’s ability to focus on MS care, training and research.

Duncan said the government plans to implement the advisory council and MS patient registry.

“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,” Duncan said.

Saskatoon MS Clinic Director and one of the panel members, Dr. Katherine Knox, said she is encouraged by the government’s plan to move forward to two of the recommendations.

“While it may take some time to get there, we also look forward to the recruitment of the clinical team that is needed in order to put the supports in place to help MS patients,” Dr. Katherine Knox said.

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