Northern Health reveals new Cancer Control Strategy

By Adam Reaburn

Northern Health showed of its plan to help Cancer patients in Northeastern BC Thursday.

The plan has been in development over the last three years with the help of Doctor Ronald Chapman and various community consultation meetings.  The goal of the new plan is to make treatment of cancer in Northern BC, as easy as possible for the patients and care providers. 

Northern Health has implemented several new programs and strategies to help make the process of getting treatment easier and faster.  One of the new innovations is telemedicine.  Telemedicine allows the patient to stay in his or her own community and still be able to consult with a doctor or another member of the Northern Health team.

With the new Cancer Centre currently being built in Prince George, Northern Health also hopes to reduce the travel times for patients that do need more specialized cancer care.  Currently patients travel to Vancouver or Edmonton and the hope is once the facility opens in 2012, physicians in this area will start referring people to Prince George.  The new Cancer Treatment Centre will also feature a lodge that will provide a bed and three meals a day for a patient visiting Prince George for $37 a night.

Northern Health admits local patients will go where they have family support and they hope the new Centre in Prince George will add another option for treatment.

According to Dr. Chapman, patients and physicians are pleased with the new strategy.

Northern Health hosted several Cancer Control Workshops in September of 2009.  During those workshops local residents were given the opportunity to provide input on this strategy.

Officials with Northern Health hope to have the entire plan implemented by the time the Cancer Centre opens in Prince George in 2012.