The Honourable Tony Clement, Federal Minister of Health, and the Honourable George Abbott, Minister of Health for British Columbia, announced that British Columbia will establish a Patient Wait Times Guarantee for radiation therapy by March 31, 2010, to be supported by $76.4 million in federal funding. British Columbia will also be eligible to benefit from the $400 million in new funding for Canada Health Infoway, and the $30 million for pilot projects as announced in Budget 2007.
“Canada’s New Government congratulates British Columbia for joining the provinces and territories that are working with the federal government in making this commitment,? said Minister Clement.
?Canadians have asked for federal-provincial cooperation in advancing Canada’s health care system, and with today’s announcement we are proud that British Columbia will continue to benefit from this collaborative work.”
British Columbia is committed to establishing a radiation therapy wait time guarantee by March 31, 2010 for residents who are at risk of waiting longer than the province’s proposed timeframe of 8 weeks from the date a patient is ready to treat. British Columbia will also undertake a pilot project to assist in laying the ground work for an integrated Surgical Patient Registry, which will aid in the foundation for a Patient Wait Times Guarantee that will support a more efficient health care system within British Columbia.
?This agreement gives British Columbia access to federal funds to further improve the delivery of elective surgeries and procedures,” said Minister Abbott. “B.C.’s patient wait time guarantee will help ensure that cancer patients continue to benefit from the shortest radiation therapy wait times across Canada. We are very proud of the great progress we have made in reducing radiation therapy wait times and this is a credit to our front line health providers.”
This announcement marks another step forward by Canada’s New Government as it continues to work toward ensuring that all Canadians receive medically necessary care and treatment within clinically acceptable wait times.