Ontario cancer patients forced to choose between treatment and jobs – CBC

Gaps in employment protection leave patients facing financial stress, job insecurity

Mar 21, 2024

An Ottawa doctor says he’s speaking out after watching patients being forced to choose between treatment and employment.

Sandeep Sehdev, an oncologist at The Ottawa Hospital’s Cancer Centre, said he’s seen patients defer treatment so they can work.

In one case, a patient in Toronto with Hodgkin’s lymphoma died because he couldn’t take time off work for cancer treatment.

Federal employment insurance (EI) covers up to 26 weeks of leave for medical reasons. But in Ontario, jobs are only protected under the current Employment Standards Act for three days of sick leave. After that, it’s up to the employer.

For patients with cancer, this can impede their recovery.

“I had a patient recently who had to work operating a backhoe in the winter, all through her four and a half months of chemo, for this exact reason,” Sehdev said.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/cancer-patients-work-vs-treatment-1.7148538

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