BC Liberals applaud progress for Parkinson’s patients

Norm Letnick

BC Liberal Health Critic MLA Norm Letnick is applauding news of an increase in operating room time for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) treatments for Parkinson’s disease patients in British Columbia.

“When we raised this issue in the House last year, the NDP government did not commit to pushing for a swift resolution to the backlog,” said Letnick. “Thanks to the advocacy work of Dr. Christopher Honey and BC Liberal MLAs Tom Shypitka and Greg Kyllo, British Columbians suffering from Parkinson’s disease will soon face significantly reduced wait times for DBS surgeries.”

The additional operating room time for DBS cases will be available at the UBC Hospital and surgeries will be performed by Dr. Christopher R. Honey.

“While it is unfortunate that only Dr. Honey will be able to perform the surgeries, this is still progress for Parkinson’s patients seeking treatment in our province,” added Letnick. “It will ensure faster access to DBS surgeries and begin to reduce the five year wait time for treatment.”

According to Parkinson Society BC, current wait times in British Columbia are three years for initial consults followed by a two-year wait for surgeries. Comparatively, Alberta has a six-month total wait period and Saskatchewan has zero waits whatsoever.

“Parkinson’s is a debilitating disease that gets significantly worse over time. We need to ensure that our provincial government is doing everything possible to help reduce DBS wait times,” concluded Letnick.