Saskatchewan slashes wait times for cancer care
Significant shortages of a dozen drugs, including several chemotherapy and cancer treatment drugs, could affect patients across Canada over the coming months.
Published Wednesday, April 4, 2012 11:26AM CST
The Saskatchewan government says the number of cancer patients waiting to see a specialist has dropped by almost half over the past two years.
Meanwhile, the number of people waiting for a first appointment at a cancer centre fell nearly 65 per cent. Initial visits are currently being scheduled within eight weeks.
Health Minister Don McMorris says a $16.9 million funding increase to the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency in this year's provincial budget will improve access to cancer screening, drugs and specialists.
Agency board chair Stewart McMillan says while the situation has improved, there is more work to be done.
The increase will fund about 30,000 cancer drug treatment visits, 39,000 mammograms, and about 6,000 new patient appointments at cancer centres in Saskatoon and Regina this year. In addition, the colorectal cancer screening program will be expanded across the province.