The fact is, anyone with chronic Lyme disease in B.C. today has no healthcare insurance, period. Government policies support Infectious Disease doctors in their refusal to allow longer courses of antibiotic treatment, valid tests from accredited laboratories showing borrelia infection are rejected. That leaves sick people having to privately pay for the only therapy shown to offer relief for chronic Lyme disease. If intravenous antibiotics are needed – often the case when Lyme goes undiagnosed for a long time, which nearly always happens in Canada – people have to pay for diagnosis and treatment out-of-country and out-of-pocket. If something goes wrong with the device used for IV antibiotic therapy – as happened when Nicole’s ‘port’ sprang a leak before Christmas – B.C. healthcare refuses to enable the treatment to continue. That meant emergency travel to the USA for a new port to be installed, which could have been done quickly and safely in any emergency room in B.C. No one in Nicole’s situation (and there are many in B.C.) can even qualify for homecare to monitor the treatment to ensure it goes smoothly and safely. Lyme disease sufferers are totally de-insured and left to fend entirely for themselves. Imagine being disabled by disease to the point of not being able to walk, and being refused needed care in a public healthcare system!
With the help of family and friends, and with treatment supervised by a lyme-literate doctor in another country, Nicole is slowly making her way back from being bed-bound. Nicole and all the other kids and adults being failed by B.C.’s healthcare system need support from the broader community of caring people.
Ultimately we have to change government policy that denies Lyme sufferers access to medically necessary care, a clear breach of the Canada Health Act.
Writing a letter to express your opposition to government policies that victimize people with Lyme disease is another step you can take. Letters will reach Health Minister Kevin Falcon at:
108 – 17700 No. 10 Highway