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Selinger promises short wait times

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A re-elected NDP government will make cancer wait times the shortest in the country, Premier Greg Selinger and Health Minister Theresa Oswald said today.

Selinger and Oswald also said the province would cover 100 per cent of the cost of cancer drugs and offer new supports for rural cancer patients.

The NDP’s $19.5 million cance plan includes:

- Fully covering the cost of cancer treatment and support drugs for all patients;

- Making all 16 of the province’s rural chemotherapy locations full CancerCare hubs, staffed with new cancer patient advocates who will take care of scheduling appointments and coordinating faster care for rural patients. There are 16 sites offering chemotherapy services in rural Manitoba, up from 11 in 1999. There were more than 23,000 patient visits to the sites each year, which avoid 10 million kilometers in travel to and from Winnipeg for families in rural Manitoba:

- Providing faster cancer screening and testing by hiring eight more pathologists, more cancer testing coordinators, and expanding the Breast Health Centre;

- Better supports for Manitobans who want to quit smoking.

Progressive Conservative leader Hugh McFadyen said if the NDP’s cancer plan was so bold it would have been put in place years ago instead of waiting for an election campaign.

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