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National Roundtable Report explores advocacy needs of Canadians living with Parkinson’s


Gaps in healthcare provider education, care coordination and access to care and treatments are top priorities for Parkinson’s community

Parkinson Canada’s National Roundtable Report launches today. More than 150 community members, including people with Parkinson’s, care partners, community organizations, healthcare specialists and government officials from across Canada participated in a nine-part series of roundtable discussions, which led to the creation of the report. The report explores the advocacy needs of Canadians living with Parkinson’s and is the first step in building the foundation of future advocacy efforts for Parkinson Canada.

Findings from the report include the following key priorities for improving the quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s in Canada:

  • Identify and address gaps for additional training and knowledge transfer to qualified healthcare providers about Parkinson’s, which will allow for earlier diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s.
  • Examine the systemic issues and barriers throughout the healthcare system to determine what steps can be taken to increase the number of healthcare practitioners available to support people with Parkinson’s.
  • Advance equitable access to care and improved treatments for all Canadians living with Parkinson’s.

“The message is clear. We Canadians struggle to respond to the vast, complex, and ever-increasing numbers and needs confronting those of us who battle Parkinson’s,” says Bob Kuhn, a member of the Parkinson Advisory Council who participated in the roundtable sessions. “I heard the pain of a broad array of dedicated medical professionals who experience daily the inadequacy of time and the insufficiency of support systems. I know that we have a big country with big unmet needs, but we must not leave the patients and those who serve them in constant threat of being forgotten.”

“There’s a sense of urgency with Parkinson’s and the growing number of people being diagnosed, and with that, a need for change to systemic barriers in healthcare to allow for things like earlier diagnosis and treatment, which will ultimately lead to a better quality of life for people with Parkinson’s,” says Karen Lee, PhD, president and CEO, Parkinson Canada. “The National Roundtable Report provides a roadmap for the development of our future advocacy work to support those affected by Parkinson’s.”

Parkinson’s is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disease caused by a loss of dopamine-producing neurons in areas of the brain associated with movement. It is one of the fastest-growing neurological diseases in the world and Canada has one of the highest prevalence rates compared to other countries. More than 100,000 people in Canada live with Parkinson’s and that number will grow by about 30 people tomorrow and the day after that until we reach 50 new diagnoses per day within 10 years.

Learn more and download the report. The roundtables and National Roundtable Report were supported in part with funding from AbbVie.

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