NEWS

Province announces CancerCare hubs

Province moving to further reduce cancer wait times: Premier

cancercare hubs announcement
Premier Greg Selinger (right) and Health Minister Theresa Oswald (left) are joined by cancer health care professionals at CancerCare Manitoba at the announcement.

Winnipeg Health Region
Published Thursday, November 22, 2012

To ensure cancer patients receive the fastest treatment in Canada, the provincial government is adding 50 new health professionals and launching four new regional CancerCare hubs in rural Manitoba, Premier Greg Selinger announced on Nov. 20.

“We’re focused on the things that matter most to Manitoba families and there’s nothing more important than ensuring your family gets the care they need, regardless of where they live,” said Selinger. “New cancer treatment hubs in Brandon, Selkirk, Steinbach and Thompson will help more patients get the highest-quality care, closer to home, with less of a disruption in their day-to-day lives.”

Building on the first CancerCare hub launched in Morden/Winkler in 2011, the four new hubs are part of an expansion of 16 rural chemotherapy sites throughout the province, said Selinger. The four new hubs, which will be opened over the next year, will better co-ordinate testing, referrals, diagnosis and treatment for rural Manitobans.

To further accelerate cancer testing, diagnosis and treatment for every Manitoban, the government has committed to hiring over 50 new front-line staff including:

  • eight more pathologists;
  • 35 more technologists;
  • two cancer testing co-ordinators; and
  • eight new positions in rural CancerCare hubs (social workers and patient navigators).

“With ongoing provincial and partner support to improve cancer services, including the most comprehensive cancer strategy in Canada, Manitobans will soon benefit from a wider network of CancerCare hubs,” said Dr. Dhali Dhaliwal, president and CEO of CancerCare Manitoba. “The CancerCare hubs will facilitate rapid access and treatment right across Manitoba.”

The premier also released a new five-year provincial cancer strategy for a more integrated and cohesive approach to cancer that involves prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, palliative care and survivorship. This follows the last five-year strategy, launched in 2007.

The new provincial cancer strategy seeks to prevent cancer and improve care and outcomes for those with cancer, the premier said, adding the new strategy includes:

  • monitoring research to update existing programs and implement new cancer screening programs to catch cancer earlier;
  • introducing digital mammography and expanding the Breast Health Centre;
  • expanding the use of advanced genetic and molecular cancer testing;
  • creating a provincial cancer surgery program;
  • developing a model for after-hours care for cancer patients;
  • supporting additional cancer research and clinical trials;
  • hiring more nurse practitioners and social workers in rural Manitoba; and
  • supporting the emotional needs of cancer patients and their families to help them cope during testing, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

“When you or a loved one has cancer, the only thing you should be focused on is beating the cancer, not on scheduling appointments or worrying about the cost of needed medication,” said Health Minister Theresa Oswald. “Our government is investing heavily in the cancer journey through such things as free cancer drugs, more health professionals, new CancerCare hubs, building a new CancerCare facility and speeding up diagnosis and treatment.”

“Our goal is to ensure that cancer patients are receiving the treatment they need, as soon as possible. Today, we’re taking one more step forward in ensuring more patients receive the fastest treatment in Canada, within two months of any suspicion of cancer,” said Selinger.

Manitoba’s cancer strategy can be viewed at www.manitoba.ca/health.

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