Ontario, Canada’s minister of health, Deb Matthew, has set up a panel of doctors to provide follow-up care for patients who received liberation therapy in Costa Rica and other clinics outside Canada.
Liberation therapy is a recently developed procedure to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). Patients undergoing the treatment receive angioplasty, which entails inserting surgical balloons into veins to widen them and increase the flow of blood from the brain and spinal cord.
This procedure has sparked worldwide discussions among physicians about whether more clinical trials are required to prove the procedure is safe. Mahir Mostic, a 35-year-old Canadian man, died from complications from the procedure, which he received at Costa Rica’s Clínica Bíblica. Canadian hospitals reportedly denied him follow-up care prior to his death. He died in Costa Rica (TT, Nov. 22, 26, 2010).
“We’ve heard anecdotally that patients are coming back and they don’t even really know what procedure they’ve had done, so it’s very hard for the doctors here to provide the best care,” Matthews told The Toronto Star.
Clínica Bíblica Hospital began offering liberation therapy treatment in June 2010. Hospital officials say they have received thousands of queries and have had trouble keeping up with the demand.