Almost 200 N.L. cancer patients sent to Ontario for care because of radiation therapist shortage – CBC

30 per cent of patients aren’t receiving radiation therapy within the 28-day national standard

Oct 18, 2023

An ongoing shortage of radiation therapists in Newfoundland and Labrador has resulted in almost 200 of the province’s cancer patients travelling to Toronto for radiation treatments since last November.

Last November, the Department of Health and Community Services began sending “select cancer patients” out of the province for “continued access to radiation treatment,” according to a statement sent to CBC News.

Between Nov. 1, 2022 and Sept. 27, 2023, the statement said, “the provincial Cancer Care Program made 222 referrals for patients to receive services out-of-province. In total, 193 have been treated or are being treated during this period.”

Health officials with N.L. Health Services say the availability of treatment in Newfoundland and Labrador has increased since the province first started sending patients to Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto last fall.

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