Updated: Dec 11, 2021
To our ME community,
We are elated to share with you the exciting progress we have made in our advocacy efforts - progress with our government that we know has been long awaited by those affected by ME!
We are extremely proud of the work the Society's Advocacy Committee and our wonderful “MLA and ME Advocates” have undertaken this past year. MLA Relationships are being made and we now have 40 MLAs partnered with one of our ME Advocates. Plus, we recently experienced milestone successes in our lobbying efforts with our Legislators and with the Ministry of Health in the following ways.
Most exciting is our submission of two 'Briefing Notes' (Briefing Note 1, Briefing Note 2) to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services and the Treasury Board. Our ME community has been acknowledged in the discussions of the Final Report and in the summation of comments and forthcoming recommendations!
We have three specific notations in the report:
In their considerations on page 52, under section Chronic Diseases and Complex Conditions:
The Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Fibromyalgia Society of BC described issues with supports and services for individuals with myalgic encephalomyelitis, including challenges with getting a diagnosis, a lack of awareness among physicians and primary clinicians about the condition, and gaps in clinical care resources. They suggested developing a Medical Services Plan billing code for myalgic encephalomyelitis to enable diagnosis and treatment, as well as myalgic encephalomyelitis-specific continuing medical education credits.
2. Further, on page 59 in the Conclusions section, it is noted:
The Committee additionally recognized the importance of diagnosis, treatment, and education for conditions such as cancer and myalgic encephalomyelitis.
3. Then in the final recommendations on page 61, it is stated:
Recommendation #72. Prioritize and fund the development of myalgic encephalomyelitis-specific billing codes for BC clinicians and the development of continuing medical education credits, modules or incentives for BC physicians, medical students, and other medical professionals to attend training about myalgic encephalomyelitis.
These recommendations now move forward to Cabinet for consideration and finalization of the Budget. The Society's ME Advocates will continue working to ensure these recommendations end up on the desks of MLAs so that they are at the forefront of discussions and therefore more likely to be included in the budget. It is our hope that the budget will include stable funding in support of this recommendation.
In addition, the Society's Board of Directors wrote to Minister Dix on October 2, 2021 (see letter here) outlining our significant and ongoing concerns regarding the inequitable and inaccessible healthcare currently faced by people with ME. We are extremely happy to acknowledge receipt of a response via email on November 5, 2021 (see email here).
We continue to meet with our mentor (and recently announced Honorary Member of the Society) Linda Reid to discuss, strategize and plan. We are so grateful for her wisdom and experience to support our efforts.
Our work continues. We look forward to building relationships with Legislators and the Ministry of Health in our continuous efforts to ensure all British Columbians living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis have ‘Equitable access to Healthcare'.
Congratulations to the many individuals who continue to keep our conversation in the forefront of discussions and to bring awareness and education across British Columbia! This has been a true community effort! Thank you all!
Please help us celebrate these extraordinary achievements by sharing this news widely!
To learn more about our MLA and ME work, please visit:
To join us, and support our work, please visit: www.mefm.bc.ca/join-our-community