We just arrived back from a week in the U.S. receiving some medical treatment for Lynnette’s multiple sclerosis.
The U.S. is one of many countries that allows a treatment called Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) and also known as the Zamboni treatment after a doctor in Italy. We know of at least six individuals with MS from Williams Lake alone that have gone to other countries to have this treatment done.
It is, from all reports and indications from any medical person I have talked to, a procedure that is preformed on thousands of individuals with heart problems and blocked arteries. The difference being that it is preformed on veins not arteries.
The real issue here is: Why do we have to travel great distances at great expense to have this treatment done in other countries?
Ours cost more than $10,500 plus travel, so why can we not have this relatively normal procedure done at home?
We have all the expertise, the equipment and the need.
I understand that it has not been approved or to be paid for through our medical, but that is not the question.
We were willing to pay for the procedure, not asking for government to help, only asking for the right to choose to have a procedure done in our own country.
Indications are it has improved the quality of life for many who have had it done. Are we so entrenched in entitlement that we will not allow individuals to get medical treatment just because government doesn’t fund it?
Think of the money that could be kept in Canada if we got away from the socialist minded medi-care and allowed our very capable doctors to operate in a free enterprise system.
Possibly even help with the doctors shortage. One cannot use the usual argument, that if only those with money can receive it, it is not fair.
Let me tell you there are a lot of people who are getting this treatment elsewhere that have had to do fundraising. We had to dip into our retirement fund.
How much less would need to be raised, and how many more could get the treatment if it could be done at home?
Walt Cobb is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. He is a former Liberal MLA, former Williams Lake mayor, and current president of the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce.