Huntington's, Parkinson's patient services gets funding help
Specialized care for people with movement disorders in northeastern Ontario no longer in jeopardy
Local funding has been found to maintain supportive health care services for people with Huntington's and Parkinson's in the northeast.
This is good news for Dr. Mark Guttman, a specialist in movement disorders based at a clinic in Markham, who visits patients in the north.
A social worker in Sudbury and a nurse in North Bay look after about 50 patients in between his visits.
Last fall, the Ministry of Health cut funding for those support positions saying they didn't align with the government's current approach to funding physician services.
Since then, the Huntington's Society has shouldered the salary of the social worker, and, on an interim basis, part of the nurse's salary.
Now the Northeast Local Health Integration Network has come up with $25,000.
The director of family services for the Huntington's Society said it's not clear yet how that money will be spent. But Meribeth Meijer said it will go a long way to providing care close to home — instead of in Toronto.
“The capacity to travel when you have dementia, emotional and physical characteristics to your disease is overwhelming for the individual with Huntington's disease,” she said.
LHIN spokesperson Cynthia Stables said this is an example of the LHIN listening “to what people need and we try to make it happen.”
Meijer said she's glad the LHIN has recognized the exceptional work done by Dr. Guttman and the outreach workers.
“This funding really makes a difference for these families in terms of the medical service that they get and the support [they receive].”