Aug. 1, 2007
MIRAMICHI (CNB) - Cancer patients in the Miramichi who require chemotherapy will soon be able to receive treatment in their own health region, Health Minister Michael Murphy announced today.
"Right now, there are many more cancer patients from the Miramichi region receiving chemotherapy outside their health region than are receiving this care in their region," Murphy said. "Our government believes New Brunswickers should be able to receive care in their communities, and that's why we will provide funding of more than $900,000 annually to expand oncology services at the Miramichi Regional Hospital."
"The Miramichi Regional Health Authority is very pleased to receive approval for this Health and Business Plan initiative," authority CEO Gary Foley said. "As part of the New Brunswick Cancer Network strategy, this enhancement will enable more cancer patients from our region to receive chemotherapy services without the added stress of travel and other related costs."
Currently, an average of 90 patients from the Miramichi region travel to either Moncton or Saint John for chemotherapy compared to only 25 receiving care in their own health region, the minister said.
"As soon as the region recruits the additional health professionals it needs, the existing oncology program at the Miramichi Regional Hospital will be expanded so patients can receive the treatment they need, here at home," Murphy said.
The additional funding will begin immediately so that the region can hire additional nursing, pharmacy and other staff to expand its oncology program. Cancer drugs and other costs are also included.
The expanded program was developed in consultation between the Miramichi Regional Health Authority and the New Brunswick Cancer Network, which was created to provide a co-ordinated provincial approach to cancer service planning in the province.
Murphy made the announcement during a speech to the Miramichi Chamber of Commerce.
Earlier in the day, he participated in the opening of the new pediatric clinic at the Miramichi Regional Hospital. The clinic brings together in one location all outpatient and ambulatory services for children. The province invested $525,000 in renovations and is providing ongoing funding of $112,000 for additional nursing and support workers.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jasmine LeBrun, communications, Health, 506-453-2536.