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Bill C-442 opens talks on Lyme disease

December 31, 2014

Belleville News  By Diane Sherman

Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, introduced Bill C-442, June 2012, to stimulate debate about prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and research on Lyme disease, a disease caused by insect bites, primarily ticks.

December 16 the bill became law: An Act respecting a Federal Framework on Lyme Disease.

December 19, May responded by email, on what this means for Canadians with the disease (LD).

She said, “For those living with Lyme, I hope new focus on the disease will bring increased research and potentially better treatment methods.” May noted the Act will help Canadians avoid getting LD in the first place, through increased awareness and prevention. She could not speak to how soon doctors would be instructed on diagnosis, stating “that should emerge through the national conference and sharing of best practices.”

The Act calls for the Minister of Health to “convene a conference,” within 12 months, with provincial and territorial health ministers, medical communities and patient’s groups, to form a national approach on “the challenges of recognition, timely diagnosis and treatment.”

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