In Ontario, take-home cancer treatments (mostly pills) are not universally funded for those between 25 and 64 years old, leaving patients to face delays to start their treatment and out-of-pocket costs. This has recently become an issue for MBC patients with the first oral treatment being listed in Ontario and more innovative medications expected.
One in two Canadians will face a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, and the majority of cancer patients will require a take-home cancer drug.
Yet in Ontario, cancer patients face a two-tiered, out-of-date system that is riddled with administrative hurdles, out-of-pocket costs to the patient and delays for take-home cancer treatments.
There have been numerous reports, roundtables and appeals for cancer reform from patients, physicians, the cancer community, and the Ontario Auditor General. Despite these calls, patients in Ontario still face the same fragmented and antiquated cancer system.
The Western Provinces, the Northern Territories, and Quebec have all developed mechanisms to fund universal access to oral cancer treatments regardless of one’s age.
To date, two of the three major political parties in Ontario have made commitments to address the need to change the current cancer system, including closing the funding gap between in-hospital and take-home cancer treatments.
Cancer doesn’t have political stripes and committing to the best quality cancer care cannot be a partisan issue.
We the undersigned call for:
All parties to commit to immediate cancer reform in Ontario that will enable all cancer patients to access safe, high-quality treatment and care without delay or out-of-pocket costs before the provincial election on June 7.