Christine Elliott, Minister of Health
Dear Minister Elliott,
Now is the time to fund education and support programs at Ontario’s Community Epilepsy Agencies!
Community Epilepsy Agencies throughout the province help people with epilepsy, and their families, better manage their condition and deal with the many social and psychological challenges they face. However, without funding from the Ministry of Health these programs continue to be under-resourced. Many parts of the province do not have a local agency and the agencies delivering programs in their communities struggle to keep up with the demand for services and face precarious funding situations.
Ontario’s Community Epilepsy Agencies make a valuable contribution to our healthcare system, reducing unnecessary hospital use, saving the healthcare system money, and improving quality of life through education programs. Support programs assist those individuals and families who have longer-term or complex needs, such as mental health issues.
By funding epilepsy education and support programs, the provincial government can improve the quality of epilepsy care and reduce healthcare usage and costs:
· epilepsy education programs can help take pressure off hospitals while they clear the COVID-19 backlog by reducing thousands of unnecessary Emergency Department visits and admissions.
· specialized mental health services that can be delivered remotely mean people with epilepsy in all parts of Ontario can access the support they need.
· the savings in reduced hospital, ambulance, and other healthcare costs will more than pay for the cost of funding these programs; an investment of $2.8 million per year, for four years, to fund programs at Ontario’s Community Epilepsy Agencies will not only pay for itself in reduced healthcare costs but will produce an additional $9.7 million in net savings by 2025.