By Sarah Klein
WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is expanding the city’s cancer hub services to primary care clinics.
The expansion will see those suspected patients of having cancer receive faster access to diagnostic and treatment services.
“When people are facing a possible diagnosis of cancer, they need to have access to diagnostic and treatment services as soon as possible,” said Health Minister Sharon Blady. “By expanding the cancer hub services to primary care clinics, we can ensure better access to the co-ordinated, compassionate care that people need to get well quickly.”
Cancer hub services are part of the province’s IN SIXTY cancer patient journey initiative, which means a suspected cancer patient can go from diagnosis to treatment in 60 days or less.
Cancer hub staff include nurse navigators, psychosocial oncology clinicians, support staff and family physicians, with a specialty in oncology, who work with health-care providers to co-ordinate quick diagnosis and initial treatment.
CancerCare Manitoba says in the six months since the Winnipeg hub began receiving referrals, 168 patients have been helped by the Winnipeg cancer navigation team.
“At the cancer hubs already operating in the province, 2,575 patients have received this assistance,” said Dr. Sri Navaratnam, president and CEO of CancerCare Manitoba.