Health Bulletins

Improving Care for People Living with Environmental Health Conditions

Release of Interim Report Looks at Hard-to-Diagnose Conditions

September 29, 2017

Ontario is releasing a report that recommends improving the understanding and recognition of environmental health conditions such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and environmental sensitivities/multiple chemical sensitivity.

The interim report, Time for Leadership: Recognizing and Improving Care, was produced by the Task Force on Environmental Health. Its recommendations focus on three key areas: research, education and care to improve supports for people in Ontario living with environmental health conditions.

The province is currently reviewing the task force’s recommendations and is renewing the funding for a fellowship in Clinical Environmental Health at the University of Toronto to expand clinical expertise in this domain. The province also plans to provide support for a group of experts to develop consensus on clinical case definitions, to help health care providers and their caregivers better diagnose and understand these conditions.

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, thanks the Task Force for their hard work, acknowledging the serious impact these conditions have on the lives of patients and their caregivers.

Ontario is increasing access to care, reducing wait times and improving the patient experience through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care and OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare – protecting health care today and into the future.

“I would like to thank the Task Force on Environmental Health for their dedication to improving care for individuals living with myalgic encephalomyelitis, fibromyalgia and environmental sensitivities. In Ontario, we still have a lot of work to do to advance the health care experience for individuals living with environmental health conditions. This report will help to increase the understanding of these conditions and provide our government with the information we need to improve access to care.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“These three environmental health conditions typically have a devastating impact on the individuals affected. Unfortunately, our health care system too often has not helped them to the extent they need. The report of the Task Force sets out a course that will begin to remedy this. I look forward to seeing the Minister's response to our report, and urge him to respond quickly and decisively. There is a need for strong leadership.“

– Neil Stuart, Vice-Chair, Task Force on Environmental Health

“After many years of work to get recognition and care for people living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Environmental Sensitivities/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, we thank Minister Hoskins for releasing the interim report of the Task Force on Environmental Health. This is a first step towards public recognition of these medical conditions and we hope that the report’s recommendations will be implemented by the MOHLTC as quickly as possible.”

– Denise Magi, President, The Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Association of Ontario (MEAO) and Member of the Task Force on Environmental Health

LEARN MORE

For More Information

If you are a reporter with a question for a story, or with comments about how this News Room section could serve you better, send us an e-mail at: media@moh.gov.on.ca

Media Line
Toll-free: 1-888-414-4774
In Toronto: 416-314-6197

Public Inquiries
Call ServiceOntario, Infoline
at 1-866-532-3161
TTY 1-800-387-5559.
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm