Official NDP Party Response

Re: Your Stance on Cancer Care

Dear Ms. Oliver,

Thank you for your letter. If John Horgan and the BC NDP is elected to government, we welcome the opportunity to meet and work with the CCSN on enhancing the continuum of care for cancer survivors in the province.

Please accept the detailed survey response below on behalf of all BC New Democrat candidates in the 2017 provincial election.

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Thank you.


In relation to your questions regarding health care delivery:

Central to our health care transformation agenda is ensuring access to timely, quality comprehensive primary care. We plan to establish Urgent Family Care Centres in urban and rural areas that will deliver patient care through multi disciplinary teams comprised of doctors, nurses, nurse practioners, dieticians, occupational and physical therapists, mental health and addictions treatment professionals, and other health professionals. This team based care model will provide patients with chronic conditions like cancer with specialized and continuous care and support through the different stages of recovery.

Our other strategic investments in health care include expanding the hours and scope of home care so patients can live and recover at home. Furthermore, team members from Urgent Family Care Centres will also provide home visits to their patients when appropriate.

We will continue working with stakeholders to improve access to specialized programs for cancer detection, treatment and recovery. For example, in recent years our health critic Judy Darcy supported survivors in their advocacy for a childhood cancer survivor clinic. The New Democrats also championed for years a BC wide colorectal cancer screening program – an idea that the Liberals adopted without heeding the advice to properly resource it to prevent excess wait times. If elected we will ensure the program has sufficient capacity to ensure patients do not wait for months for testing in their own communities.

We will expand and replicate initiatives, best practices that have a track record of reducing surgical wait times. We will also deliver the best outcomes and most timely care for patients through province-wide coordination, management of wait lists.

In relation to your questions regarding access to drug treatments:

The BC NDP champions independent evidence based pharmaceutical policy and formulary decisions that ensure the treatments that work the best, not the ones that are most promoted and higher in price, are prescribed and covered under the public drug plan. This approach of emphasizing treatment efficacy enables greater patient coverage as it protects the health care system from undue costs.

We also champion leveraging government’s purchasing position to secure lower drug prices for the benefit of patients and the public health care system. Savings on prices frees up resources for broader treatment coverage. On this note, we plan to collaborate with other provinces and the federal government on drug price negotiations and bulk purchasing medication. We also intend to work with the federal government towards a national pharmacare program that can significantly improve coverage and lower costs.