Province Announces Expansion to Winnipeg Cancer Hub to Better Support Patients Suspected of Having Cancer

by ahnationtalk on June 11, 2015604 Views

June 10, 2015

Initiative Expanding to Help Patients Access Care, Treatment Faster: Minister Blady

People in Winnipeg suspected of having cancer will have faster access to diagnostic and treatment services following the expansion of Winnipeg cancer hub services to primary care clinics, Health Minister Sharon Blady announced today.

“When people are facing a possible diagnosis of cancer, they need to have access to diagnostic and treatment services as soon as possible,” said Minister Blady.  “By expanding the cancer hub services to primary care clinics, we can ensure better access to the co-ordinated, compassionate care that people need to get well quickly.”

In the fall of 2014, the Winnipeg cancer hub was implemented in emergency departments to support diagnosis and treatment for patients without a family doctor.  The expansion to primary care clinics will ensure patients suspected of having cancer can access services at a virtual clinic that provides expert advice, psychological support and navigation services, the minister said.  She added that navigation support will be available for health-care providers to ensure patients are referred quickly and appropriately.

Minister Blady noted the cancer hub services are part of the province’s IN SIXTY cancer patient journey initiative, which aims to improve the cancer patient journey by moving patients from suspicion of cancer to treatment in 60 days or less while ensuring quality care.

“Through the IN SIXTY initiative, health-care providers across the province are taking action to make improvements at many points along the cancer journey,” said Dr. Brock Wright, co-chair of IN SIXTY, and senior vice-president, clinical services, and chief medical officer, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.  “Increasing access to cancer hub services for those who use our primary care clinics means even more patients will be able to get the services they require in a more timely manner.”

The expert staff at the cancer hub, including nurse navigators, psychosocial oncology clinicians, support staff and family physicians, with a specialty in oncology will work with health-care providers to co-ordinate quick diagnosis and initial treatment, the minister said.  The cancer hub in Winnipeg builds on work done to develop community and regional cancer hubs in rural Manitoba, which offer enhanced and better co-ordinated care, Minister Blady added.

“This service takes the burden off patients and families by connecting them to the support they need.  In the six months since the Winnipeg hub began receiving referrals, 168 patients have been helped by the Winnipeg cancer navigation team.  At the cancer hubs already operating in the province, 2,575 patients have received this assistance,” said Dr. Sri Navaratnam, president and chief executive officer, CancerCare Manitoba.  “Navigation services are now available to all Manitobans to help ease their anxiety through an emotional time.”

IN SIXTY is a partnership with the Manitoba government, CancerCare Manitoba, Diagnostic Services of Manitoba, Manitoba eHealth, regional health authorities, physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers and other health-care providers.

For more information on the IN SIXTY initiative, visit www.insixty.ca.  More information on Manitoba’s Cancer Strategycan be found at www.gov.mb.ca/health/documents/mbcancer_strategy.pdf.

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