Health Canada

Health Canada

May 02, 2008 13:20 ET

Government of Canada Helps P.E.I. to Cut Wait Times for Cancer Care

CHARLOTTETOWN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(Marketwire - May 2, 2008) - The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health and the Honourable Doug Currie, Minister of Health for Prince Edward Island today announced further developments in Patient Wait Times Guarantees with a total investment of $1.8 million for a pilot project in Prince Edward Island. The project, Saving Time & Saving Lives: A Provincial Strategy for Ensuring Radiation Therapy Patient Wait Time Guarantees, will test a multi-faceted approach aimed at reducing wait times for radiation therapy treatment for cancer patients.

"Patients who are waiting for radiation therapy understand all too well how stressful this process can be. This innovative pilot project will make a real difference in their lives, cutting wait times, putting the patient first, and ensuring treatment is available within a guaranteed timeframe," said Minister Clement. "Our Government is committed to working with the provinces and territories to cut on wait times and this initiative is another example of this commitment."

The Government of Canada is providing $1.4 million, with the Government of PEI contributing the remainder.

The aim of this project is to develop and test more timely and patient-centred approaches to the provision of radiation therapy. This project will do so by using more efficient physician referral and diagnosis processes and providing patients with much needed support and information while they receive treatment. If a patient waits longer than eight weeks for treatment, they will be offered alternate care in another province.

"Improving wait times for Islanders is a priority for our Government," said Doug Currie, PEI Health Minister. "This new pilot project will aid us in our progress toward further developing and establishing a patient wait time guarantee for radiation therapy services in PEI."

The federal Budget 2007 announced the direct investment of more than $1 billion in new funding towards the advancement of Patient Wait Time Guarantees. This included some $30 million for pilot projects that will support provinces and territories to test innovative approaches to Patient Wait Times Guarantees. A key component will be facilitating the best outcomes for patients by offering alternate care options where wait times are exceeded.

Today's announcement complements three pilot projects announced earlier this year in Nova Scotia and Manitoba under the Patient Wait Time Guarantee Pilot Project Fund. It reflects further progress in the government's ongoing commitment to ensure timely access to health care. Strengthening health care is a long-term challenge that requires a combination of leadership, partnership and foresight from all of us - patients, health care providers and governments.

The Government of Canada is actively working with other provincial and territorial governments to finalize agreements on additional pilot projects to develop and test Patient Wait Time Guarantees. Further announcements on investments under this $30 million initiative can be expected in the coming weeks and months.

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Contact Information

  • Health Canada
    Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
    Federal Minister of Health
    Laryssa Waler