October 19, 2023
Ontario Needs a Rare Disease Strategy
During question period, France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, asked the Minister of Health, about the results of the pan-Canadian health minister’s meeting in PEI last week.
“Last week, Health Ministers from across Canada met in Prince Edward Island. I, like many Ontarians, am quite anxious to find out what kind of progress was made for people suffering from rare diseases. Can the minister share with us the decisions that were made?“
In March of 2023, the federal government announced an investment of up to $1.5 billion over three years in support of the first-ever National Strategy for Rare Diseases to help increase access to, and affordability of, promising and effective treatments for rare diseases, to improve the health of patients across Canada.
“Members from Ontario’s life sciences sector are at Queen’s Park. We all know that the federal government has budgeted $500 million for rare disease treatments for this year. Can the Minister tell us about Ontario’s rare disease strategy and how much of the $500 million in federal money will be coming to help Ontarians gain access to life-saving rare-disease treatments?”
Minister of Health, Sylvia Jones, did not mention any specific strategy to access the federal money.