B.C. plan for U.S. cancer treatment sparks criticism

A day after British Columbia’s health minister announced that some patients with type B prostate or breast cancer would be heading to the United States for treatment, opposition forces and patients said this was like a band-aid to a more complex problem. claiming to be the solution.

Adrian Dix said Monday that short-term solutions are needed due to staffing shortages, the need for equipment upgrades and an increase in cancer diagnoses. Starting May 29th, up to 50 B.C. residents can be sent south of the border each week for free medical care for two years.

Leah Rountree was recently diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. While she was on vacation in the United States, a friend of hers encouraged her to have a scan. These diagnoses made it clear to Ms. Rowntree how urgent her symptoms were, she said.

“If I survived this, one of the reasons would be that I got the scans I needed in a timely manner,” she told CTV News.

She believes timing is key and said she is still undergoing chemotherapy and surgery but plans to return to the United States for treatment if given the chance.

“Absolutely, I’m going to do whatever is the fastest way because it gives me the best results. And at the same time, I’m crying as I pack up to leave my family, my friends, and my home to go to therapy. I was going,” adds Mr. Rountree, who nearly choked at the thought.

Data from the Canadian Institutes of Health Information show that waiting times for radiotherapy are increasing. In 2020, 90 percent of patients received treatment within 28 days, but the health minister said less than 83 percent are now. This means that hundreds of people diagnosed with cancer have been waiting for more than a month.

BC United health commentator Shirley Bond said she had raised the issue several times with the government.

“There are long waits to get a diagnosis, long waits to see an oncologist, and now you may have to travel abroad to get treatment. I think it’s a serious indictment of degradation,” Bond said.

At an unrelated event, Prime Minister David Evey objected. He said the health minister has recognized the growing demand for cancer treatments and has come up with a solution.

“From my point of view, and from the government’s point of view, anything we can do to ensure that they receive emergency treatment and medically recommended treatment within the required time frame is important,” said Eby. added Mr.

Mr. Rountree’s reaction was different.

“God, I think this shows how broken our healthcare system is.”

In a statement, the health ministry said up to $39 million a year was available for treatment funding, including a contingency for unplanned expenses.

According to the ministry, insurance coverage for patients includes:

  • travel by plane, car or ferry
  • Meals (per diem per PHSA travel and travel expenses policy)
  • hotel
  • Ambulance charges related to radiation therapy
  • Clinical and medical imaging tests during treatment, excluding genetic testing
  • Prescription drugs, including supportive care drugs needed during treatment
  • Patient immobilization device required for radiotherapy treatment
  • Services provided by professionals other than doctors (such as registered dietitians and psychiatrists)

Companions can also claim transportation, meals, and lodging expenses.

All travelers are responsible for securing documents such as passports and visas.

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