In our mission to advocate for Canadians impacted by Parkinson’s, Parkinson Canada embarked on a series of national roundtable discussions to better understand the Parkinson’s community’s needs and how our advocacy work can make for a better life today while research looks to a future without Parkinson’s at all.
Roundtable discussions brought us closer together
The 2021 Parkinson Canada Advocacy Roundtable Series consisted of eight regional roundtables, followed by a national session, over the course of three months. This effort brought together more than 150 voices from the Canadian Parkinson’s community to gather understanding, insight and clarity to support Parkinson Canada’s advocacy efforts. We were able to capture the key issues surrounding Parkinson’s healthcare from provincial, territorial and national perspectives.
The Provincial Advocacy Roundtable Reports are shaping our future advocacy efforts
Thanks to the candor of the roundtable participants, we have not only published a National Advocacy Roundtable Report, but regional roundtable reports as well. From the roundtable discussions, the following key priorities for improving the quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s in Canada were identified:
- There are gaps in the support of the development and promotion of Parkinson’s curriculum and awareness for family physicians and allied healthcare professionals. Work needs to be done to address these gaps and provide additional training and knowledge transfer to qualified healthcare providers, which will allow for earlier diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s.
- Systemic issues exist within healthcare across Canada, which means people living with Parkinson’s are underserved given the limited number of Parkinson’s Nurse Specialists and Movement Disorder Specialists. Systemic issues and barriers throughout the healthcare system need to be examined to determine what steps can be taken to increase the number of healthcare providers available to support people with Parkinson’s.
- Equitable access to care and treatments for all Canadians living with Parkinson’s is essential. This includes exploring the availability and wait times for life-changing treatments and access to Health Canada approved medications.
While each region of Canada feels the pressures of the above key priorities, they also have their nuances to be appreciated and examined more closely. Take a look at the regional roundtables to see what advocacy efforts are being prioritized provincially as we move into our future advocacy missions.