On January 18, 2023, the National ME/FM Action Network sent letters by email to the federal Minister of Health and the federal Minister for Disability Inclusion, with copies to the critics for the opposition parties, outlining ME/FM priorities. These letters were published in Quest 136. You can also read the letters here:

Letter to the Minister of Health


Letter to the Minister for Disability Inclusion


On January 31, we received an email reply from the correspondence unit of Health Canada - see below.


-------- Original Message --------

Subject: re Health portfolio's 2023/4 plans (23-000536 - 576)
Date: 2023-01-31 20:37
From: "HCSD Correspondence / Correspondance DSSS (HC/SC)" <HCSDCorrespondence- This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
To: "M. Parlor" < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >




Thank you for your letter of January 18, 2023, requesting targeted supports in the 2023-24 Health Portfolio for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Fibromyalgia. We appreciated having the opportunity to learn more about the challenges experienced by individuals living with these conditions.


As you know, in Canada, the provinces and territories are responsible for the design, delivery and management of health care in their jurisdictions. If you have not already done so, you may wish to share your suggestions with provincial and territorial Health Ministers so that they may also be made aware of these challenges and can consider how to make their health systems more accessible and responsive to the needs of patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Fibromyalgia.


Rest assured that the Government of Canada is committed to improving the health care system so that it can meet the needs of all Canadians. The Canada Health Transfer (CHT) is the main funding mechanism that the federal government uses to support Canada’s health care system, providing long-term, predictable funding to provinces and territories. In 2022-23, provinces and territories will receive over $45 billion through the CHT, growing by over 9% in 2023-24 to $49.1 billion. Provinces and territories, in turn, have the flexibility to direct their CHT funds to their own health care system needs and priorities.


You may also be interested to know that through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Government of Canada has invested in research on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and fibromyalgia. Notably, in 2019, CIHR funded the creation of the Canadian Collaborative ME Research Network (ICanCME) to advance innovative, multi-disciplinary study of ME, strengthen knowledge dissemination and build Canada’s capacity in this area, with a focus on improving patient outcomes. Indeed, the creation of ICanCME is a testament of the tremendous value of patient engagement in research mobilization.


CIHR is also funding studies on Post COVID-19 Condition (PCC) with the potential to improve outcomes for people with ME and fibromyalgia. For instance, a team led by Dr. Luis Nacul from the University of British Columbia — who is also a member of ICanCME — will undertake a clinical trial to determine whether low-dose naltrexone improves energy and reduces fatigue and pain in PCC patients. If this trial proves successful, the researchers posit that it would provide the rationale for similar testing in patients with ME and fibromyalgia.


The recent pandemic has clearly highlighted many key gaps in our health system, as you have pointed out – all of which underscores the need address these challenges and to better prepare our health system for the future. As we build on the federal government’s track record of providing support, we are working with provinces and territories to develop a shared vision for the future — one that includes improved efficiencies, strong accountability measures, intuitive reporting, better transparency and more.


In that vein, the Prime Minister has been meeting bilaterally with his counterparts on issues impacting their health care systems and will host a meeting with provincial/territorial Premiers on February 7, 2023. For his part, Minister Duclos remains ready to work with his provincial and territorial colleagues to further discuss health system priorities, actions and results, including:

1. Addressing the health workforce crisis, surgical backlogs and hospital capacity issues
2. Implementing integrated, team-based care
3. Improving health data and digital access to health care
4. Improving mental health and substance use services
5. Helping Canadians to age with dignity, close to home


If you require further clarification or have questions about the information provided in this reply, you can contact Michael Davies, Director of the Health Care System Division, Strategic Policy Branch, at HCSDCorrespondence- This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Thank you for your organization’s nearly three decades advocacy for individuals living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Fibromyalgia, and for taking the time to share your views on how to better support them.


Yours sincerely,


Strategic Policy Branch

Health Canada

As of April 26, 2023, we have received no further replies.