Some B.C. cancer patients to be offered radiation treatments in Bellingham, Wash. – CBC

Cross-border option set up because province isn’t meeting target for timely radiation therapy: health minister

May 16, 2023

The British Columbia government says eligible cancer patients in the province will be temporarily offered radiation treatment in Washington state.

A statement from B.C.’s Ministry of Health says the initiative, which begins on May 29, could help as many as 50 additional radiation patients a week.

Breast cancer and prostate cancer patients will be the first groups eligible to travel to one of two clinics in Bellingham, Wash., located about 40 kilometres south of the Canada-U.S. border., for treatment.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the arrangement is temporary and aimed at getting people the care they need sooner, as the province works to expand its own cancer care services.

“This effort to secure patients the care they need beyond the borders of their health region and even beyond B.C. is not new,” Dix said at a Monday news conference. “It’s what we do and have always done: connect patients with the care they need.”

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