VIDEO: Wilson extremely disappointed by Premier Wynne’s Callous Refusal to Fund Treatment for 12 Year Old Madi Vanstone
(March 3, 2014) Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson is fuming over the Liberal government’s refusal to fund a life-saving medication (Kalydeco) for Beeton resident, 12 year old Madi Vanstone. Today, Wilson was joined at Queen’s Park by 70 of Madi’s classmates and friends to question the government on the issue. Wilson also held a media conference with Madi and her mother, Beth Vanstone, in the morning.
“Premier, in a letter dated August 15th, your Health Minister told 12 year old Madi Vanstone that the province will not fund the medication Kalydeco solely due to its high cost. In other words, you and your government callously sent this young lady home to suffer with cystic fibrosis,” charged Wilson. “Your government is willing to squander billions when it comes to gas plant cancellations, Ornge and eHealth, but no money for a sick child?”
The Premier agreed to meet with Madi before Question Period, but refused to say whether she would fund the medication. Instead she hid behind the Pan-Canadian Pricing Alliance, who has had the medication under review for the past 14 months. Madi and other children with cystic fibrosis have been waiting in limbo since then. Wilson had to remind the Premier that the healthcare system is ultimately her responsibly.
“For seven months, Madi’s classmates, teachers, family and friends, many of who are here today, have helped Madi pay for this medication out of pocket. Thanks to these people, she is now symptom free,” continued Wilson. “Is this the Ontario we can expect from your Liberal government, where 12-year-old children have to fundraise to keep their friend alive.”
Madi has been battling cystic fibrosis since she was 8 months old. Without the medication (Kalydeco) her prognosis is bleak. She will likely need a lung transplant by her mid-teens. Kalydeco is the only medication that treats the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis.
In the face of an unwilling government, the Vanstone family has held several fundraisers—the next is on March 17th. Thanks to a community effort, Madi has been receiving the drug for the past seven months and is now symptom free. Wilson strongly believes that lifesaving medication for children needs to be a top priority in our province. He questions what this government’s priorities are if this isn’t one of them.