Letter to MPP Template
Save The Arthritis Program at Southlake Regional Health Centre
Dear (MPP name):
I am writing you today to ask you to support the patients affected by the closure of The Arthritis Program (TAP) at Southlake Regional Health Centre – a short-sighted decision that will adversely harm patients in Newmarket and surrounding regions.
When the program closes in January, more than 2,200 inflammatory arthritis patients will lose access to vital treatment and care in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. For these patients, TAP is life-changing. Losing this program will add additional stress, anxiety, and potentially negative health consequences to an already vulnerable patient population.
(Alternative, if you are an affected patient: “When the program closes in January, more than 2,200 inflammatory arthritis patients will lose access to vital treatment and care in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. For patients like me living with [type of arthritis], TAP has been life-changing. Losing this program will add additional stress, anxiety, and potentially negative health consequences to me and other TAP patients who are more at risk during the pandemic due to a compromised immune system.”).
To make matters worse, Southlake’s claim that patients will be able to access continued care by unidentified resources in the community is patently untrue. There is no existing resources to adequately replace TAP as it is the identified sole arthritis community care provider after 27 years of operation.
TAP is the gold standard for all other arthritis clinics in Canada, receiving awards and recognized as having best practices in interdisciplinary team-based care. TAP saves the Ontario healthcare system millions of dollars annually by reducing the need for emergency room visits, hospitalizations, costly joint replacements and cycling through expensive biologics by the early assessment, diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory arthritis diseases.
At a critical time when Ontario’s healthcare system is already overburdened and facing serious pandemic budget deficits, TAP represents a helpful solution to these pressures by helping to save patient lives and save the Ministry of Health money.
As your constituent and someone with first-hand knowledge of TAP, I urge you and other decision-makers to immediately work together to keep TAP open to help patients manage their inflammatory arthritis diseases and continue to live their best lives.