BC NDP promises new cancer centre in Kamloops

Cancer centre for Kamloops

The BC NDP’s new 10-year cancer action plan includes cancer centres in Nanaimo and Kamloops, says party leader John Horgan.

If re-elected, the NDP would work with BC Cancer and health authorities to launch a decade-long plan to build on cancer facilities, equipment, services and programs in the province.

“Patients should be able to get the services they want, not just in the Lower Mainland not just in our major urban centres, but in rural communities as well,” said Horgan, pointing to the importance of new telehealth technologies, new equipment and the hiring and training of more health-care workers.

“But we also want to make sure we’re delivering prevention, screening diagnostic and treatment services, right across the province,” he said.

“New cancer centres will be established in Kamloops, and Nanaimo, and we want to bring people closer to home, not just in the Interior and Vancouver Island, but across the province. Over the next 10 years, we’ll see real progress.”

Horgan, who called a snap election last month, warned investments like this would be at risk under the BC Liberals.

The NDP plan builds on work the province has announced to improve cancer care, including Canada’s first lung cancer early-detection screening program and the addition of regional cancer centres in Surrey and Burnaby.

Under the plan, patients will have one point of contact across their cancer care journey and entire families will be offered genomic testing. New clinicians will be hired and existing cancer centres will be renovated.

In a joint media statement, local BC NDP candidates Sadie Hunter (Kamloops-North Thompson) and Anna Thomas (Kamloops-South Thompson) called today's announcement "great news."

"What makes the announcement of a cancer centre so important is that it’s part of an overall, comprehensive cancer plan," said Hunter. "This integrated system will make sure that patients in Kamloops get the best possible care without having to go to Vancouver or other centres."

Yesterday (Oct. 6), BC Liberal candidates Todd Stone and Peter Milobar made a $5-million promise to get two linear accelerators for cancer treatment at Royal Inland Hospital. 

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