MS Society welcomes new national monitoring system
Ottawa – March 23, 2011 – The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada welcomes the federal government’s announcement of a national monitoring system that will capture information to help identify disease patterns and track treatments and long-term outcomes for people living with MS.
The system announced today will be developed by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) in close collaboration with the Canadian Network of MS Clinics and the MS Society of Canada. Federal funding through the Public Health Agency of Canada will support its development. Representatives of people living with MS, clinical and technical experts from across Canada and provincial and territorial governments will provide input into the design and development of the system.“People living with MS are at the centre of our work and we look forward to collaborating with the MS community, governments, health agencies and the Canadian Network of MS Clinics to build the monitoring system,” says Yves Savoie, president and chief executive officer of the MS Society of Canada.”The more that is understood about the disease, its progression and the use of treatments in this country, the more people with MS can make the best choices about their own care.”
Clinical and demographic information will be collected from people living with MS across Canada on a voluntary basis through their health care practitioner. The Canadian Network of MS Clinics will be the main data suppliers to CIHI. The data will be stored and used according to CIHI’s privacy protection policies and procedures, which are recognized as being among the most robust in Canada. Once sufficient information is collected for analysis purposes, CIHI will begin producing reports that will be made publicly available for people living with the disease and for all Canadians.
“People living with MS will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this monitoring system as it will shed light on important topics like CCSVI, the long-term benefit of current therapies and also serve as an invaluable tool in assisting researchers, health professionals and policy makers in their work,” concludes Savoie. “We are pleased that MS has been recognized as a top-priority health issue and thank Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq for making this important initiative possible.”