BY DAN FUMANO, THE PROVINCE
In 2013, a clinic heralded as the first of its kind in Canada opened in Vancouver with a mandate to diagnose and treat Lyme disease in B.C.
It was a moment of great hope and optimism for many chronic Lyme sufferers in B.C. But two years later, frustrated patients say the clinic, the Complex Chronic Disease Program, has been a failure and they haven’t been able to get the treatment they seek — and they want to know why.
According to Health Canada, Lyme disease is a serious illness caused by the bite of an infected black-legged tick. Symptoms can include fatigue, recurring arthritis, paralysis and cognitive dysfunction.
Lyme disease has often been a contentious topic in Canada, and the CCDP has been beset by controversy. The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation publicly renounced and criticized the CCDP, and a series of doctors resigned their positions to protest management decisions they said compromised patient care.