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MacGregor reintroduces brain-injury bill

MP hopes to develop national strategy
Alistair MacGregor has reintroduced his Bill C-277 from the previous Parliament as part of efforts to develop a national strategy to support and improve brain injury prevention and treatment. (File photo)

Alistair MacGregor, MP for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, has reintroduced his legislation from the previous Parliament to develop a national strategy to support and improve brain injury prevention and treatment.

He said that with more Canadians living with an acquired brain injury than those living with multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, spinal cord injuries and breast cancer combined, a national strategy will coordinate efforts of the nation’s dedicated health care workers and help Canadians who are living with brain injuries.

More than 1.5 million Canadians suffer from traumatic brain injury with symptoms that range from dizziness and motion sickness to short and long term memory loss and has been linked to many other health problems, such as changes in temperament, depression and anxiety, and drug and alcohol use.

MacGregor’s Private Member’s Bill C-277, the National Strategy on Brain Injuries Act, would implement a national strategy on traumatic brain injuries.

The include promoting the implementation of preventive measures to reduce risk; identifying the training, education and guidance needs of health care professionals; promoting research and improving data collection; creating national guidelines on the prevention, diagnosis, and management of brain injuries; encouraging the use of consulting psychologists to create a national support system; and developing and maintaining a government website to provide current facts, research, and best practices.

Through consultation with mental health experts and constituents, MacGregor said he found a need for federal action to address traumatic brain injuries caused by intimate partner violence and nonfatal drug overdoses; known as, Toxic Brain Injury.

“On behalf of my family and our entire board at the CGB Centre for Traumatic Life Losses, I want to thank Alistair MacGregor for his compassion, and ongoing commitment to ensuring those living with an acquired brain injury, and their families, receive the care they need”, said Janelle Breese Biagioni, founder & CEO of Constable Gerald Breese Centre for Traumatic Life Losses.

“This is going to make a difference in the lives of so many.”

MacGregor said that, given new research on the number of brain injuries arising from intimate partner violence and overdose survivors, it is apparent that a federal framework is needed to address the growing issue of traumatic brain injuries, both in terms of services and research, and in prevention and public awareness.

“Canadians living with traumatic brain injury symptoms deserve equal access to the best available care and treatment, and Bill C-277 aims to do just that,” he said.