Cancer patients are expected to see shorter waiting lists for treatment now that Steinbach`s CancerCare Centre will be turned into a regional cancer service hub.
On November 20, the province announced the creation of four rural CancerCare hubs including one in Steinbach where patients will see the installation of new front-line staff to ensure faster cancer testing.
Building on the first CancerCare hub launched in Morden/Winkler in 2011, the four new hubs are part of an expansion of 16 rural chemotherapy sites throughout the province. The four new hubs,in Brandon, Selkirk, Steinbach and which will be opened over the next year, will better co-ordinate testing, referrals, diagnosis and treatment for rural Manitobans.
Dr. Denis Fortier with Southern Regional Health Authority says the new centres focus will be to ensure that patients receive treatment within sixty days of detection.
“We are really just enhancing services,” explained Fortier. “It will be more than receiving chemotherapy close to home.”
Fortier added the announcement pertains to services and physical changes are not anticipated at the Steinbach CancerCare Centre.
To further accelerate cancer testing, diagnosis and treatment for every Manitoban, the province has committed to hiring over 50 new front-line staff including: eight more pathologists; 35 more technologists; two cancer testing co-ordinators; and eight new positions in rural CancerCare hubs (social workers and patient navigators).
Southern Region Health Authority expects to hear how many of these workers will be coming into the region within the next few months.
The province plans to establish other CancerCare hubs over the next five years until there are ten hubs located throughout the province.