The Myeloma Canada Ontario Advocacy Committee (MCOAC) advocates for continued funding of Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty at University Health Network (UHN) hospitals
The Myeloma Canada Ontario Advocacy Committee supports recommendations of a draft Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) report that Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty be provincially funded and, in light of University Health Network’s (UHN) cut to funding for Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty in Toronto, asks UHN and the Minister of Health and Long Term Care to continue to fund these procedures within the UHN budget until such time as the procedures are approved for provincial funding.
Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty are innovative and effective procedures. Both can reduce or eliminate severe back pain for many myeloma patients who have compression fractures in their vertebrae, greatly improving their quality of life. In the case of the Kyphoplasty, the procedure involves careful insertion of a balloon to restore the height of the vertebrae, removal of the balloon, and then insertion of a cement-like substance into the affected vertebra, to reinforce the fractured area, like an internal cast. In the case of Vertebroplasty, the cement is injected into the damaged vertebrae without the benefit of the balloon process with essentially the same stabilization results. Both are relatively inexpensive and are done on an out-patient basis.
Currently both procedures, where available in Ontario, are funded out of local hospital budgets. Unfortunately the procedures have recently been curtailed in Toronto as a result of budget cuts at UHN. While OHTAC in a recent draft report recognized the effectiveness of Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty and recommended that the procedures be funded by the province, those recommendations still need to be finalized, approved by the provincial Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and a provincial funding mechanism needs to be put in place. Meanwhile, countless myeloma patients who will no longer have access to the procedure in Toronto risk unnecessary pain and suffering.
The Myeloma Canada Ontario Advocacy Committee (MCOAC) has recently written letters to the Ontario Minister of Health and Long Term Care, and to specific senior officials in the Ministry, Cancer Care Ontario, and UHN. The letters advocate to have funding immediately restored for these procedures at UHN and ultimately that adequate funding be provided by the Ontario government for these procedures province wide.
Click here for the letters sent to the Ministry of Health and to read the testimonials from patients:
The MCOAC plans to continue to press UHN and the Minister of Health and Long Term Care to fund these procedures within the UHN budget until such time as the procedures are approved for provincial funding and, in the longer term, to support the OHTAC recommendations and advocate for funding from the Ontario government to ensure that Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty are available to Myeloma patients province wide.
Meanwhile, countless myeloma patients who will no longer have easy and quick access to the procedure in Toronto risk unnecessary pain and suffering.
To support this cause, we are looking for anyone who has benefited from Kyphoplasty or Vertebroplasty, and who is willing to share their story. The same applies for anyone who could not receive Kyphoplasty or Vertebroplasty, due to the recent funding constraints. If you are able to help in this regard, please contact one of us. We welcome your help!
Myeloma Canada is affiliated with the International Myeloma Foundation, the world's oldest and largest myeloma organization
Myeloma Canada gratefully acknowledges the generous unrestricted educational grants from our website sponsors: