No Treatment For Southern Alberta Lymphedema Patients

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No Treatment For Southern Alberta Lymphedema Patients

Postby patoco » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:59 am

This is simply so outrageous that it is literally beyond belief. Is this what we lymphers have to look forward to under a government-ran health insurance program?

Should we just take our "hemlock" and go quietly away? Disgrace and Shame to the government of Galgary and to the Candian government for allowing this to heppen!


No Treatment For Southern Alberta Lymphedema Patients After March
26 Jan 2009

As of March 31, Southern Alberta patients suffering from non-cancer-related
lymphedema, a progressive, non-curable lymphatic disorder resulting in one
or more grossly swollen limbs and associated medical complications, will no
longer have treatment services available in the city of Calgary or its

A recent decision by Alberta Health Services' Tom Baker Cancer Centre to
provide in-house lymphedema treatment for cancer patients means the city's
only lymphedema clinic is shutting its doors.

Calgary Lymphedema Rehabilitation and Consulting Services Inc., a private
clinic, has been the sole provider of treatment services for Southern Alberta
lymphedema patients, regardless of cause.

Because more than 90 per cent of the clinic's patients have cancer-caused
lymphedema, the drastic loss of patients to the new in-house program at Tom
Baker means Calgary Lymphedema Rehabilitation and Consulting Services is no
longer viable.

Patients who have "primary" lymphedema (born with it), or "secondary"
lymphedema not caused by cancer (causes include injury, infection, diseases
than cancer, and Filariasis from a tropical mosquito bite) are not eligible
for treatment at the new Tom Baker clinic - even though it will have the
only trained lymphedema practitioners in Calgary.

Lymphedema is a progressive, disfiguring and debilitative disorder.
Uncontrolled lymphedema can lead to cellulitis and septicemia, fast-moving
infections requiring I.V. antibiotics and costly hospital stays. Patients can
their infected limb(s) or worse. Without treatment to reduce volume, the
buildup of lymph fluid continues to expand the limb (elephantiasis).

It is the responsibility of Alberta Health Services to ensure non-cancer
lymphedema patients have access to a specialized clinic to assess, treat, and
manage their condition, as well as to provide fair and equitable treatment
for all lymphedema sufferers.

A secondary issue is funding. Treatment for non-cancer patients is not
covered. However, the Alberta Cancer Board (now part of the new Alberta Health
Services) covers treatment for cancer patients.

Prior to November 2006, treatment for Southern Alberta cancer patients was
not covered either. However, following revelations that Edmonton cancer
patients received publicly funded in-house lymphedema treatment, Southern
Alberta's cancer patients also received funding. Services were contracted to
Calgary Lymphedema Rehabilitation.

In 2006, the Alberta Lymphedema Association gathered signatures on a
petition requesting Alberta Health Care coverage for all lymphedema sufferers.
petition was tabled in the Alberta Legislature August 30, 2006, and still
has not been brought forward to the floor.

The continued non-funding for non-cancer lymphedema treatment is
inequitable. This disease is the same regardless of cause, and treatment is
neither optional nor cosmetic.

Alberta Lymphedema Association
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Re: No Treatment For Southern Alberta Lymphedema Patients

Postby xshlynne » Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:39 am

That is exactly what is going to happen under obamacare. Obama has been very clear in his speeches about who will merit treatment undera government run healthcare system. You just to listen to his answers to questions. I'll have to look for the speech but earlier this summer he responded to a question about medical care for a non-curable illness and his response was essentially that what will end up getting covered are things that make you healthier. Remember also he responded to a question on the ABC health show from the White House that sometimes it is better to just take a pain pill than to say have surgical treatment (referencing a procedure that was done on an elderly woman). I've read the house bill that had people up at arms in August and I have alot of concerns about how I would fare under Obamacare. Right now I have private health insurance but if under the healthcare bill it would be cheaper for my employer to drop private health insurance and just pay a fine (which it will be), my employer would do that as would most, especially in this economy where the bottom line is what matters. Lymphedema is mostly a maintenance condition rather than a treatable/curable one. With Obama's words about not having to pay for things that don't make you healthier. Sounds to me like he is talking about not covering maintenance issues or end of life issues because those are two areas where any medical care you get doesn't make you "healthier" just helps you get by.
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Re: No Treatment For Southern Alberta Lymphedema Patients

Postby patoco » Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:35 am

Hi Ashlynne

This is hard for me to say since I am by nature such an activist, but I'm not sure putting in a debate here about Obama's plan is going to benefit anyone - probably would cause some horrendous fights. Trust me, I have very very strong feelings about this too, but this just isn't the place for a debate.

Here, let's focus on what we can do in advocating for lymphedema, lipedema and our other conditions shown.

Thanks :wink:

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Re: No Treatment For Southern Alberta Lymphedema Patients

Postby patoco » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:17 am

I am sorry that I have had to delete the response to my message by the previous poster.

Our struggles to insure coverage for lymphedema exists in countries with both govermental ran health care and in countries like the US where thus far it does not run healthcare.

I requested that this forum NOT be turned into a debate site for this health legislation and my request was completely disrespected.

Sadly, I am locking this section No Treatment etc to prevent further posting. Membership in these forums can only be maintained by respecting the guidelines we have issued.

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