CCSN has continued its work to raise awareness about COVID-19 disruption of cancer care in Canada by sharing the results of our third Leger survey on COVID-19 cancer disruption of cancer care with politicians across this country.
To date, we have met with nearly 40 elected politicians and several provincial health agencies in Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Additional meetings are planned in those provinces as well as in British Columbia, New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Yukon, and with MPs in our federal government.
We told politicians and health agencies that 18 months after the start of the pandemic, half of cancer patients across Canada report that their cancer care appointments are still being cancelled, postponed, or rescheduled, with six in 10 recently diagnosed patients and seven in 10 patients with metastatic cancer report their appointments are cancelled, postponed, or rescheduled.
What’s worse is that on average, it takes 28 days to reschedule cancer care appointments, and 44 days to reschedule procedures or surgeries. Fully one-third of patients report that they still don’t have a rescheduled appointment or a date for surgery. This has resulted in 70 per cent of patients and caregivers reporting delays causing a major impact on their emotional and mental health.
We asked politicians and policy makers not to wait until the pandemic is declared over to invest in strengthening cancer screening and cancer care. We all know that CANCER CAN’T WAIT for those who are without a cancer diagnosis due to screening delays and for those whose cancer may have progressed to a later stage during the pandemic. We asked politicians and policy makers to help us avoid what may also be an increase in the number of deaths from cancer.
We would like to offer our sincere thanks and appreciation to the cancer patients, caregivers and survivors whose testimony about the impact of COVID-19 on their lives brought home the reality of having cancer during the pandemic: MaryAnn Bradley, Tim Monds, Dave Nitsche, Deborah Peniuk, Andrea Redway, Jennifer Roy and Loverne Wowk.
Here’s who we met with so far:
- MLA Lori Sigurdson, NDP Opposition Critic for Seniors and Housing
- Mckenzie Kibler, Policy Advisor, Health Minister’s Office
- Lauren Crossing and Megan Skinner, Alberta Ministry of Health
- MLA David Shepherd, NDP Opposition Health Critic
- Alberta Health Services
- A meeting with the United Conservative Party Caucus, which was attended by the following MLAs:
- MLA Nathan Neudorf, Caucus Chair
- MLA Richard Gotfried
- MLA Shane Getson
- MLA Roger Reid
- MLA Dan Williams
- MLA Tracy Allard
- MLA Jeremy Nixon
- MLA Searle Turton
- MLA RJ Sigurdsen
- MLA Garth Rowswell
- MLA Jackie Lovely
- MLA Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk
- MLA Peter Guthrie
- MLA Grant Hunter
- MPP Bill Walker, PC Party of Ontario
- MPP Daisy Wai, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Seniors and Accessibility, PC Party of Ontario
- MPP Joel Harden, Accessibility Critic, Ontario NDP
- MPP Peggy Sattler, Opposition House Leader, Ontario NPD
- MPP France Gélinas, Opposition Health Critic, Ontario NDP
- MPP Michael Gravelle, Ontario Liberal Party
- MPP Michael Mantha, Deputy Opposition Whip, Ontario NDP
- Bianca Bell, Ontario, Chief of Staff, MPP Mike Schreiner, Green Party of Ontario
- MPP Robin Martin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health, PC Party of Ontario
- MPP Andrea Horwath, Official Opposition Leader, Ontario NDP
- MPP Laura Mae Lindo, Ontario NDP
- MLA Dr. Jon Gerrard, Manitoba Liberal Party
- MLA Uzoma Asagwara, Manitoba NDP
Newfoundland & Labrador
- MHA Paul Dinn, PC Party of Newfoundland and Labrador
- Steven Kent, Researcher, Newfoundland and Labrador NDP Caucus
- MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, Independent
- MLA Susan Leblanc, Nova Scotia New Democratic Party
- Nova Scotia Health
Prince Edward Island
- MLA Michele Beaton, Green Party of Prince Edward Island
If you are a cancer patient, caregiver or survivor who has experienced delays in appointments, procedures or surgeries during the pandemic, and you would be interested in virtual meetings with politicians, please email Conrad at email@example.com.