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Actively Advocating for those who can’t wait

April 12, 2018 | Uncategorised

Crohn’s and Colitis NZ approached MSNZ in late 2017 to request our support for its campaign on ‘I can’t wait’, advocating for the needs of those with bladder and bowel issues, who require immediate access to toilets on business premises where no public facility is available.

Bladder and bowel problems affect approximately 50% of people with MS with many expected unreported cases. These symptoms of MS can be concerning and isolating  and the fear of not being able to access a toilet in the necessary time can exacerbate these feelings. They can have an impact on a person’s well being and mental health.

Crohn’s and Colitis NZ presented the oral petition to the Health Select Committee on the 21st March in Parliament. Their request recommended legislative changes which would see that a person, with an approved medical need, to urgently access the toilet facilities of a business (eg. the employees bathroom) should no patron services be available.

MSNZ wrote in support of this petition with the request that people with Multiple Sclerosis be included in the list of those with a medical need to use the bathroom urgently.

It was reported that the Health Select Committee appeared sympathetic and interested in the needs of those with crohn’s, colitis, MS and other health conditions which have an impact on the bladder and bowel. We await their response and indications of whether this petition will be successful in bringing about legislative changes for those in need.

More information:

MSNZs submission to the Health Select Committee and why this petition is so important: Letter to House of Representatives from Multiple Sclerosis New Zealand Supporting Petition 2014 0102 regarding access to toilets

Learn more about how bladder and bowel issues impact those with MS