Please respond to these important questions.
The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) works to connect patients, survivors and other stakeholder groups with decision makers and the wider community to engage in discussion and to act on evidence-based best practices to alleviate the medical, emotional, financial and social costs of cancer and encourage research on ways to overcome barriers to optimal cancer care and follow-up for patients, caregivers and survivors in Canada.
A recent CCSN-commissioned Leger survey of 1,243 Canadians revealed that the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a crisis in essential cancer care across the country. Cancer patients, their caregivers and those awaiting confirmation of a cancer diagnosis faced and still face postponed and cancelled appointments, tests and treatment, causing heightened fear and anxiety, even as pandemic restrictions of are lifted.
Here are a few responses we received in our Leger survey from cancer patients living in New Brunswick:
“I had a throat scan cancelled, now I don’t know if I’m still in remission.”
“Crainte que le cancer soit revenu et de ne pouvoir avoir de suivi dans un délai raisonnable.”
The government of New Brunswick has a critical role to play in making sure that essential cancer care is not disrupted by COVID-19.
Cancer can’t be cancelled or postponed. The delay and cancellation of cancer care due to COVID-19 has triggered another public health crisis. Cancer care and diagnosis must continue during any public health crisis affecting Canadians to save lives.
If elected, how will your government provide the explicit inclusion of essential cancer care in a second or third wave of COVID-19 and in all crisis and pandemic planning in the future?
Your response will be circulated to cancer patients, caregivers and survivors in New Brunswick and included on our website at www.survivornet.ca. Links to your responses will also be posted on Facebook and Twitter.
Response from the candidate:
“Like many New Brunswickers my family has been touched by cancer and ensuring that cancer patients have access to quality care throughout every stage of their treatment and recovery is extremely important to me. As a New Democrat I can firmly say that health care is a top priority for our caucus. Should we form government we are committed to working with all parties within the healthcare system; including our doctors, nurses and the public, to ensure that we have a strong plan in place to ensure necessary treatments and services will not be cancelled or postponed again due to Covid-19. We will work directly with our frontline health care workers to ensure that cancer patients can have access to the services they need while not putting them at higher risk of exposure to Covid-19. This includes a commitment to stronger funding for healthcare in New Brunswick and our plan for a universal pharmacare system so that patients can access the medications they require regardless of their employment status, which as we have seen with Covid-19 can change instantaneously during a pandemic.”
— Juliana McIntosh, NDP Candidate Moncton Southwest