Health Canada

Health Canada

March 18, 2009 09:31 ET

Government of Canada Works with New Brunswick to Reduce Patient Wait Times in Province

SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - March 18, 2009) - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, federal Minister of Health, and the Honourable Michael Murphy, Minister of Health for New Brunswick, today announced further progress on the Patient Wait Times Guarantee with support being provided for a pilot project in New Brunswick aimed at reducing wait times for radiation therapy.

"The project we are announcing today will help New Brunswickers receive more efficient, timely access to radiation therapy," said Minister Aglukkaq. "For New Brunswick, it marks a significant step towards cutting wait times and providing patients with the quality health care they need when they need it. The lessons learned from this project will be applied across the country and across a range of clinical areas."

The project, which began in March 2008, uses a patient-centred approach involving both of the province's cancer centres and the New Brunswick Cancer Network which will help meet individual needs and circumstances. It uses information technology to better track patients' progress and to facilitate them receiving radiation therapy in a timely manner.

"The new system will also help New Brunswick to plan for future increases in the demand for radiation therapy and ensure that New Brunswick's cancer patients continue to have access to treatment within appropriate time frames," Minister Murphy said. "Presently 92 per cent of New Brunswickers receive radiation therapy within four weeks of being ready to treat."

The Government of Canada is investing more than $1 billion towards the advancement of Patient Wait Time Guarantees which will facilitate the best outcomes for patients by offering alternate care options where wait times are exceeded. This includes up to $30 million for pilot projects that will support provinces and territories in testing innovative approaches to Patient Wait Time Guarantees.

Today's $5 million investment in reducing waiting times for radiation therapy, made at the Radiation Oncology Centre at the Saint John Regional Hospital, complements other pilot projects that are underway. In total ten projects in eight jurisdictions are being implemented across the country under the Patient Wait Time Guarantee Pilot Project Fund. They are contributing to 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.

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Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Health Canada
    Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
    Federal Minister of Health
    Josee Bellemare
    New Brunswick Department of Health
    Meghan Cumby
    Public Enquiries: