York Region, Ontario, Canada: Health system failing those of us with Lyme disease

Richmond Hill Liberal, Nov 2, 2013

By Shari Allen

I find it ironic that Premier Kathleen Wynne’s  government announced last week it is spending $5.5 million to prevent cruelty to animals, when her term will likely go down in history as the government that unconscionably allowed untold cruelty to humans, under the leadership of Health Minister Deb Matthews.

Ms Matthews has shown an astonishing lack of compassion to those suffering from Lyme disease.

She has ignored the pleas of countless people (and even one lawyer) who took the time to write to her asking for better blood tests, better treatment guidelines and better training of our doctors, who don’t know enough about this debilitating disease.

By continuing to look the other way, Ms Matthews has condemned thousands of Ontarians to a lifetime of illness.

Last October, Health Canada issued an advisory in its Canadian Adverse Reaction newsletter warning Lyme disease test kits used by our health system have sensitivity and specificity limitations.

These kits rely on a faulty two-part test consisting firstly of an ELISA screening test.

The ELISA, which captures only one strain of Lyme (B31), has been shown in studies to miss more than 50 per cent of those who have contracted Lyme disease. Put in perspective, HIV screening is about 98 per cent reliable.

The health minister is allowing this atrocity in Lyme blood screening to stand and go uncorrected, leaving doctors…

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