News Item

December 16, 2013

Cancer Hubs Bring Expanded Services To Western Manitoba

Brandon  —  Sites to Offer Enhanced Cancer Services, Treatment, Information Options: Minister Selby

Cancer patients can now access enhanced treatment and information at seven cancer hubs, as Manitoba's IN SIXTY cancer patient journey initiative continues to improve services, Health Minister Erin Selby said here today.

"Cancer is a scary journey for patients, but by reducing wait times and ensuring timely treatment and access to care, we can help make that journey a little easier," said Minister Selby. "Cancer hubs are made up of networks of care providers who work together to make sure patients get the care they need, when they need it, closer to home."

The expanded services now include three full-time nurse navigators, two psychosocial oncology clinicians, two part-time family physicians focused on oncology, two part-time medical leads, a full-time clerk and part-time community liaison, with an approximate $700,000 annual investment in front-line staff for the Prairie Mountain Health region. All front-line staff have received training from CancerCare Manitoba and will support patients at critical transition points, resulting in reduced delays and less stress and worry for patients, the minister said.

The experts who staff cancer hubs will work with local health-care providers and patient navigators to co-ordinate quick diagnosis, treatment and followup for patients. The hubs will better co-ordinate care and offer some services close to home, reducing costs for patients who might have otherwise had to travel to Winnipeg to receive diagnosis or treatment.

The regional cancer hub in Brandon will co-ordinate work at the community cancer program hubs in Deloraine, Hamiota and Neepawa, while the regional cancer hub in Dauphin will co-ordinate work at the community cancer program hubs in Russell and Swan River.

"Patients and families have enough to go through following a cancer diagnosis," said Penny Gilson, chief executive officer of Prairie Mountain Health. "No matter where one is in their cancer care journey, our goal is to ensure you know what's happening now, what's happening next and what your treatment options and outcomes might be."

The minister noted the introduction of cancer hubs is part of the $40-million IN SIXTY initiative, announced by the Manitoba government in 2011 to improve the cancer patient journey. It is a partnership including the Manitoba government, CancerCare Manitoba, Diagnostic Services of Manitoba, regional health authorities, physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers and other health-care providers. These cancer hubs enhance Manitoba's strong record of being world leaders in the support of cancer patients and fight against the disease, citing Manitoba as one of the first provinces to cover the full cost cancer drugs for all patients, said the minister.

For more information on Manitoba's Cancer Strategy, visit:
www.gov.mb.ca/health/documents/mbcancer_strategy.pdf.



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