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Ontario steps toward a strategy for comprehensive epilepsy care

Posted Nov 11 2011 4:02pm
Dear all,

A very important development has caused me to emerge from my cocoon of silence. The following message pertains specifically to Ontarians, but those living outside of Ontario should try to support this initiative as well as it will benefit you in time.

Below is a message from the Director of the University of Toronto Epilepsy Research Program.

"There is an important chance for better epilepsy care in Ontario, and I am writing to ask your help and support. We have been lobbying for improved epilepsy care for years. Now it seems that it may be within our grasp.

A high-powered clinical committee has been negotiating with the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC). OHTAC has prepared a recommendation to the Provincial Government for a comprehensive new program of Care for Drug-Resistant Epilepsy in Ontario.

The OHTAC document has been posted and OHTAC has asked for public comment, which can be submitted to their website: (Deadline, November 30). It is important that we provide that comment. The proposal may stand or fall on the basis of public input.

Below is an Executive Summary of the OHTAC Recommendation. The complete Recommendation can be accessed here .

The new program would include: 1) regional epilepsy centres for clinical care; 2) the development of provincial guidelines for epilepsy care; 3) enhanced training of epilepsy clinicians, including neurologists, surgeons, dieticians, EEG technologists, neuropsychologists and social workers; 4) telemedicine for centres in the North; 5) “wait time” standards for access to care and tests; 6) a provincial data base; and 7) an expert advisory panel, which would include both clinicians and representatives of not-for-profit epilepsy advocacy groups.

Please take the time to input – even briefly – to OHTAC during the next three weeks. Following this first step, we hope you will provide input to your MPPs.

Thanks everyone!

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