B.C. Premier John Horgan visits an urgent care clinic in Sooke earlier this year. (B.C. government file photo)

B.C. Premier John Horgan visits an urgent care clinic in Sooke earlier this year. (B.C. government file photo)

NDP makes campaign promise of cancer centre for Nanaimo

Party says it will have a 10-year cancer action plan

The NDP is promising improvements in cancer care including a cancer centre in Nanaimo.

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan made the announcement today in Vancouver, committing to cancer centres in Nanaimo and Kamloops.

He said an NDP government would work with B.C. Cancer Agency and health authorities on a 10-year cancer action plan. According to a press release, the government would “invest in dedicated teams providing a full continuum of care, and new equipment to deliver leading-edge prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment services.”

Horgan said cancer has affected nearly every family including his own.

“Under our plan, British Columbians will receive better care that’s closer to home as they go through their cancer journey,” he said.

Sheila Malcolmson, NDP incumbent for Nanaimo, said in a press release that the party’s cancer action plan will make B.C. a world leader in cancer care. She said a new cancer centre in Nanaimo will bring “care closer to home for people in Nanaimo and communities on Vancouver Island.”

The NDP platform notes that its cancer care plan will cost $50 million in 2020-21, $100 million in 2021-22 and $300 million in 2022-23.

Some of the related promises include hiring new clinicians, expanded genomic testing and “more uptake of innovative prevention and treatment services.”

READ ALSO: Childhood lessons, fight with cancer helped John Horgan forge political goals

At Tuesday’s NDP platform announcement, Horgan said the NDP’s cancer action plan would include more individual care and more resources invested in treatment and research.

“The B.C. Cancer Agency is renowned. We want to make sure that the next 10 years take us to the next level with respect to making sure that people who are afflicted with cancer have services that they need and the resources that are here in British Columbia have the tools to make breakthroughs as they’ve been doing over the past number of years,” Horgan said.

Last fall, Dr. David Coupland, president of the Nanaimo Medical Staff Association, talked to Nanaimo city council about the need to transition Nanaimo Regional General Hospital to a tertiary hospital, and mentioned the need for a cancer centre. He said “demand is now going through the roof” with a 50 per cent increase in visits to the chemo room over the past three years. He said there are 40 oncologists working in Victoria and none in Nanaimo.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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