Lyme Disease — Debatable Motion in the New Brunswick Legislature
June 14, 2013
Fredericton,NB- New Maryland Sunbury West Progressive Conservative MLA Jack Carr presented a historic motion in the legislature on June 14, 2013. The motion was seconded by MLA Donald Arsenault Liberal MLA representing Dalhousie-Restigouche East. The Lyme disease advocacy community is pleased to see all members of the legislature from both parties show support of the motion by supporting its introduction.
This motion would see the New Brunswick Government recognize “the rapid spread of Lyme disease as a pressing public health issue in New Brunswick.” It further recognizes that “New Brunswickers with Lyme Disease frequently suffer for months, or even years before diagnosis and treatment, and that Lyme Disease can be a debilitating condition, causing extreme fatigue, cardiac and nervous system disorders and arthritic symptoms which can affect one’s quality of life and ability to work”.
Lyme sufferers in the Lyme Advocacy Group believe the people inNew Brunswickneed to know how to prevent from being bitten by a black legged tick and need to know that ticks carrying the bacteria causing Lyme disease can be found in every area of the province. The disease is not rare and the number of infected ticks is increasing so the risk of contracting Lyme is increasing.
Testing used inNew Brunswick(and elsewhere inCanada) to detect Lyme disease is flawed and results in many people being unable to receive an early diagnosis. The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends Lyme disease be diagnosed first and foremost based on clinical symptoms.
“All laboratory tests have a margin of error which is why Lyme disease should be diagnosed clinically first and foremost. Laboratory testing can be used as supportive evidence. We want this to happen inNew Brunswick”, said Mrs. Louise Billings spokesperson for the NB Lyme Advocacy Group.
The motion would see theNew Brunswickgovernment take the lead in order to encourage and support the following changes:
“This Legislative Assembly commits itself to work collaboratively to find solutions to this public health problem, including but not limited to working with health professionals to update public health information on prevention and detection of Lyme Disease, recruitment of health professionals with the skill set needed to improve treatment of Lyme disease and improved professional development for health professionals in the treatment and diagnosis of Lyme disease.”
“New Brunswickhas a long history of not turning its back on those who need it most,” said Mr. Carr. “Many families are struggling with Lyme disease and I am pleased each MLA in the New Brunswick Legislature recognizes more can be done and in a collaborative way. Passing this unanimous motion is a great step forward and gives hope to many,” he continued.
“The Lyme Advocacy Group is pleased and very grateful to MLAs Jack Carr, Troy Lifford, Donald Arsenault and former MLA Kelly Lamrock, who were all willing to listen, educate themselves and collaborate to prepare and move this motion forward. Their willingness to work together is very encouraging and we thank them”, continued Mrs. Billings.
“We are looking forward to the changes that will take place in the awareness, prevention, testing and treatment of Lyme disease inNew Brunswick. Lyme suffers should not continue to suffer the discrimination that they are enduring today and change must occur”, concludedBillings.
Lyme Sufferers look forward to having adequate and appropriate treatment in this province rather than being forced to pay out of pocket to receive treatment out of the province or more often out of the country.
For more information contact:
Louise Billings, NB Lyme Advocacy Group – 459-4853 and email@example.com
Jack Carr, MLA –
Donald Arsenault, MLA –