MLA Gary Holman Pressures Government to Support Parkinson’s Sufferers

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SIDNEY – On Feb 14th, the Government of British Columbia announced their decision to support the medication Duodopa as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease on a case by case basis.

The decision comes after Brentwood Bay resident Paddi Wood, courageously went public with her story.

Gary Holman, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, after meeting with Paddi and her supporters, wrote to Health Minister Terry Lake regarding the medication a few weeks ago on her behalf.  Official Opposition Spokesperson for Health, Judy Darcy, also wrote to the Minister on behalf of Parkinsons’ sufferers.

Only a week ago, the Minister responded to both Holman and Darcy with letters refusing to publicly fund Duodopa, despite Health Canada approval of the drug and the fact that a number of provinces in Canada provide coverage for it in their medical plans.

However, Paddi, along with media and MLA Holman, kept up the pressure on government and the Health Minister, who announced the drug would be covered on the first day of the spring session.

“This is good news for Paddi and others in this heart wrenching circumstance,” said Holman, “But it’s too bad that this government has to be publicly shamed by the media in order to provide the health care people deserve, particularly our most vulnerable citizens like Paddi.  It took a negative news story and the threat of Opposition questions in the legislature on the eve of an election to do the right thing.”

Duodopa will be provided to Parkinson’s patients through Pharmacare on a case by case basis, in partnership with the Parkinson Society of British Columbia, who will help identify the patients who need it.