Research and treatment
The challenges facing Veterans, including serving military and RCMP members, both while serving and after release, are widespread and have uniquely developed through the roles and responsibilities they take on while in service. Research into health conditions related to serving military personnel and veterans has been lacking in Canada for some time and is needed to keep pace with a changing demographic of service personnel and the situations that they are called into. Research is also needed in the areas of diagnosis, treatment, management and of illness and disabilities and the long-term impact of prescribed treatment of options.
The Royal Canadian Legion strongly supports Veteran research, through financial support and through our advocacy efforts.
Primary advocacy position(s) on this issue:
- That the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) establishes Veterans as a priority subpopulation group for research to ensure that funding is allocated to meet the needs of military and Veteran health research in Canada
- Promote academic research (physical and mental health) to support an integrated approach to establish VAC entitlement eligibility guidelines.
- Government must undertake research into mefloquine and its side effects and ensure those who were given the drug are aware of the potential side effects and receive the proper diagnosis and care they deserve. Department of National Defence must immediately cease the use of mefloquine for Canada’s serving men and women while this issue is under investigation.
- Research is needed to understand the increase in medical marijuana prescriptions, the efficacy of cannabinoid-based therapy, and the full financial implications of reimbursement. As well, the medical community must establish effective policies and standards to prescribe, treat and monitor patients using medical marijuana to ensure the care and wellbeing of Canada’s Veterans.
- The Legion had been advocating for national standards for psychiatric service dogs. These standards are essential in creating greater accountability of those who train service animals, will help ensure the safety of the person with the disability as well as the animal, and will strengthen public trust in the service dog community.
- The Legion supports the inclusion of a new question on the next short form census in 2021 to help identify Regular and Reserve Force Veterans in Canada, and inform future policy and programs.
The Legion also supports research by awarding an annual Master’s level scholarship through the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) to a student specializing in Military and Veterans Health Research. Ongoing, focussed research is critical for the care and support of Canada’s Veterans.