Multiple Sclerosis patients in Victoria are disappointed the MS building centre will be closed, and physiotherapy service is discontinued.
The decision from the MS Society to move from North Park street isn’t a popular one
“We weren’t told about the closure of the building until it was actually done,” says one sufferer of the autoimmune disease of the central nervous system.
A “for sale” sign is about to go outside soon.
The objective is to put more money towards finding a cure, but it comes at a cost.
“We were faced with the decision to eliminate the physiotherapy program only out of the Victoria office, that we know that’s a difficult decision for people to hear,” says Tania Vrionis, the President of the BC & Yukon Branch of the MS Society of Canada.
“It infuriated me as a physiotherapist because I know how valuable exercise, it’s not just exercise. It’s treatment, right?” says Ann Logan, who has MS and is a physiotherapist herself.
Multiple Sclerosis patients met this afternoon going over the letter received from the MS Society of Canada which informs them that physiotherapy services will not be provided.
The MS Society says it’s not their role to substitute government in providing support for direct health services.
“We do know that through private providers and through the health authorities, we’re confident we’re going to be able to build strong partnerships in order to transition those people,” says Vrionis.
“You can’t find anywhere, within the healthcare system, where physiotherapists specialize in neurological diseases, specifically MS,” says Logan.
“Because it changes every single day, you need to have somebody working with you constantly and to my knowledge, that type of service doesn’t really exist,” added Susan Simmons, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 21 years ago.
Simmons says losing physio is a big set-back, but the centre is also a hub for patients.
“Sharing our stories, exchanging ideas, starting up new volunteer groups, starting up new support groups.”
Simmons adds, “Without that centre being there, those things wouldn’t happen.”
“Our mandate is to provide the most meaningful benefit for the greatest number of people with MS, and we will be serving people far better in the future because of this,” says Vrionis.
A decision these women are counting on being true.