Oncology costs

The majority of Vancouver Island cancer patients must now travel to Victoria for many services.

Recent letters to the editor have complained about the loss of oncology specialist services at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NRGH).

The majority of cancer patients must now travel to Victoria for many services. Also, for secondary treatment services at local facilities, patients must dig into their wallets: oncology related CT-scans, echo-cardiograms, frequent chemotherapy blood tests and visits with the local doctor to review chemo progress all require the patient to pay for parking at $2.25 for the first two hours at NRGH, which adds up.

The Canada Health Act prohibits extra billing for medically necessary procedures. However, for out-of-town patients, the parking charges are a form of stealth circumvention of the act.

The Canadian Cancer Society sponsors a lodge for out-of-town patients to receive subsidized housing and food for cancer patients while they are receiving treatment in Victoria. Radiation treatment is only available in Victoria for Vancouver Island patients who usually receive treatment for about four consecutive weeks of five consecutive days of radiation.

Together with a spouse, the total patient out-of-pocket cost for four weeks of radiation is more than $2,000. The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) does not reimburse the out-of-town patient.

While one may argue for the need for specialized treatment facilities in Nanaimo and other locations in the north, it is more cost effective for VIHA to centralize these services largely in part due to economies of scale. As VIHA can operate more effectively by centralizing the services, it behooves them to also compensate patients for out-of-town expenses.

Anthonie den Boef

Nanoose Bay

Just Posted

Lincoln stolen from Parksville dealership found near Duncan

Vehicle was located three days later with minor damage

Ballenas student experiment going into space

Science experiment designed by five SD69 students will travel to International Space Station

Fire engulfs trailer, vehicle and home in Bowser

The fire began around 6:45 p.m. at a property on Laurel Crescent

Have a heart for a cause in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Stained glass artist selling hearts for the homeless for what might be the last time

Canadian flag, pole heisted from Qualicum Beach business

Thieves remained busy during holiday season

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of B.C. overpass

Dash cam footage shows vehicle speeding across Brunette Avenue overpass in Coquitlam

First Parksville baby of 2019 born in Nanaimo hospital

Maverick Maurice Lapierre was five pounds, 11 ounces

Second fatal crash occurs in Alberni Valley

Traffic on Highway 4 is being re-routed as investigators are en route

Port Alberni RCMP officers bear-sprayed by suspect

Police were responding at scene of traffic accident

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Most Read