As a breast cancer survivor myself, I understand the challenges that cancer care presents to the Alberta Health Care system. My own experience was less than satisfactory and in the end, I sought alternative treatments outside of Canada with much success. I was fortunate enough to have had a critical illness insurance policy that covered most of these costs.
I can confidently say that the delivery of cancer care and other healthcare services in Alberta needs to be fully examined and discussed by all the stakeholders including survivors. As such, we would commission a task force to draft an integrated plan for the care, communication and delivery of cancer treatments to patients. This would be done as a fully publicly funded healthcare system now and in the future under a Green Party government.
Included in this report would be the examination of what is necessary to support cancer patients in their long term management and/or recovery of their related cancer treatments and side effects.
Upon receiving the recommendations of the task force, we would set about allocating the necessary funds to implement the plan, with a provision to review and improve the recommendations every 2 years.
Theoretically, this model could be used across the healthcare delivery system.
I personally believe that all patients in the healthcare system need an advocate with the power to intervene in a patients care when they feel that the best interests of the patient are not being met. This person can be the patient themselves if well enough, a family member or friend or an appointed representative if none of the aforementioned is available.
I can personally attest to the fact that going through cancer and cancer “care” is challenging at physical, emotional and social levels and a network of support with the appropriate power to advocate is vital to the recovery of the patient.
The Green Party of Canada supports the adoption of a Universal Pharmacare system where we would have the power to bulk buy drugs in order to make them more affordable to all Canadians. Alberta Greens agree.
The Greens fully support the Canada Health Act (CHA) and all of its principles. We oppose any level of privatized, for-profit health care. The five criteria of the CHA guiding the provincial public health insurance plans, which we believe to be non-negotiable, are:
Public Administration – The public health insurance plan must be managed in a public, not-for-profit fashion;
Comprehensiveness – All residents must be covered for ‘medically necessary’ health services;
Universality – All residents must be covered by the public insurance plan on uniform terms and conditions;
Portability – All residents must be covered by their public plan, wherever they are treated in Canada;
Accessibility – All residents must have access to insured health care services on uniform terms and conditions without direct or indirect financial charges, or discrimination based on age, health status, or financial circumstances.
I hope this sufficiently answers the questions put forward by The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network.
Dr. David M. Reid, Calgary-Bow
Coral Bliss Taylor, Chestermere-Rocky View
Martin Blake, Highwood