BCLA Advocacy Campaign November 2020 - 2021
Our campaign kicked off by asking members to send a Christmas card to newly elected MLA 's. Letter templates were provided, requiring only the addition of a specific name & address. The committee started working in earnest in January 2021, meeting twice a month and more frequently as we completed a comprehensive 89 page application to BC Pharmacare asking for financial coverage for compression garments for all patients living with lymphedema.
The application was delivered June 18th 2021. We have heard that a review of our application will begin in January 2022 and may take 6 months.
After a break for the summer the committee reconvened in September to prepare a submission to the BC Government 2022 Budget Review Committee.
Here we reiterated the need for financial coverage for compression garments and added our second goal: That the health care system provide diagnostic service and initial treatment, across the province, for patients who develop lymphedema. Results of the budget review will be announced on Nov. 15th 2021.
The committee will continue working, hoping for meetings with representatives within the MSP department to plan a strategy to achieve the second goal.
Annual World Lymphedema Day March 6
Every year advocates mount a worldwide campaign to raise awareness about Lymphedema. Representatives from; India, Europe, South America, United States, Canada, and Australia join together on March 6th to recognize World Lymphedema Day.
This year the B C legislature will proclaim that BC acknowledges March 6th as World Lymphedema Awareness Day.
Why We Need World Lymphedema Day
Great attention is paid to the battle against cancer. Yet, most people haven’t heard of lymphedema, which cancer frequently leaves in its wake. We hear little of the children born with lymphatic malformations or those who inherit lymphedema. There is silence on the issue of wounded war veterans, civilian casualties and others who suffer from lymphedema due to physical trauma or as a result of surgery. Too many who suffer feel alone. Too many medical professionals remain uneducated about this chronic disease or underplay the devastating impact it has on a person’s quality of life. Too many go without the necessary therapeutic care. Further this tragedy is compounded when government and private health insurers deny patients coverage for even the universally accepted treatments that this disease demands.
A Call to Action
The message from lymphedema and lymphatic disease advocates is clear. “Lymphedema and lymphatic diseases are ready to take their place as international priorities.” The days of being invisible are over. Every year we acknowledge World Lymphedema Day to be celebrated on March 6th. We invite patients, their family and friends, advocates, politicians and treatment practitioners from every country to make their voices heard by promoting Awareness about Lymphedema.
Together, we can change the world.2021 Sample Proclamation for Municipalities
BC Lymphedema Day Poster (for those with BCLA Brouchures to share)