The Marois government’s decision to cut $10 million in funding to 18 hospital-based research centres could ultimately put patients at risk, according to some of Quebec’s health researchers.
Research centre representatives from across the province launched a campaign at a news conference on Wednesday to fight the Parti Québécois’ plan to cut about 13 percent of Quebec Health Research Fund's budget.
Without this money, laboratories could be forced to close and research projects could be put on hold indefinitely.
About 2,300 researchers from the 18 research centres have collaborated to launch a website called "Je Suis Michèle," based on the case of an ovarian cancer patient who has expressed concern about the proposed cuts.
Michèle St-Pierre, 52, is now the face of the campaign. She has been battling cancer for four-and-a-half years and is about to start a third round of chemotherapy.
She said the cuts could impact research like that which developed a type of chemotherapy that has helped her keep some sense of normalcy during treatment.
The type of chemotherapy she receives prevents her from losing her hair and allows her to keep working while battling the disease.
Other patients with chronic or serious conditions also attended the news conference to share their concerns about the proposed cuts.
Sylvain Plourde, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, said his condition is deteriorating and hopes research can continue to make improvements to treatments for the disease.
"By cutting research, they’re also telling me that there’s not going to be any hope for me going forward and they’re also telling me that, if my kids get Multiple Sclerosis, there’s no hope for them as well."
The researchers heading the campaign are urging people to sign a online petition and share stories about how research has impacted their lives.They also hope people will begin wearing a pink and blue "x" to symbolize a band-aid in support of their cause.