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Association Wants Disability Rights for Parkinson's Patients Bernama News - 25 April 2010

Association Wants Disability Benefits For Parkinson's Patients

By Malaysian National News Agency

KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Parkinson's Disease Association (MPDA) is pushing for Parkinson's disease patients to be accorded disabled status to enable them to receive disability benefits.

MPDA president Sara Lew said, living with Parkinson's disease had a profound economic impact, not only on the patient but their families, as well.

"We believe that large communities need to work together to find new ways to ease the burden of the impact of Parkinson's disease on the quality of lives of not only for people with Parkinson's, but all disabled and chronically-ill people," she said.

She was speaking in conjunction with World Parkinson's Day Celebration held at a hotel here on Sunday.

Lew said as a Parkinson's Disease advocacy group, MPDA recognised the importance of collaboration and bridging the gap between people with Parkinson's, caregivers, government agencies, political leaders and healthcare providers, especially in search for a cure and improved care for people with Parkinson's.

She said MPDA, as the first non-governmental and patient-based organisation set up to provide support for people with Parkinson's and their caregivers in the country, had signed the WHO (World Health Organisation) Global Declaration of Parkinson's Disease.

"Essentially, the Global Declaration of Parkinson's Disease urges every government, health authorities, healthcare workers, and decision-makers to provide effective and appropriate management strategies to support and improve the quality of life of people with Parkinson's disease.

"It also calls on them to acknowledge that people with Parkinson's have the right to be referred to a doctor, receive accurate diagnosis, have access to support services and take part in managing the illnes," she said.

Lew said based on unofficial statistics, the progressive disease afflicted more than 25,000 people in Malaysia and the number was growing.