Sights set on cancer centre - Metro US

Sights set on cancer centre

Premier Ed Stelmach reassured Calgarians Thursday a lifeline is on the way for the city’s crowded Tom Baker Cancer Institute.

Stelmach reinforced provincial Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky’s assertion there will be solutions via a capital investment announcement regarding the overcrowding and under-staffed cancer centre in mid-July.

“I hear the most difficult situation is moving patients from one hospital to another to get treatment they require, and we’re looking at a plan on how we can put all that together and make it easier for the patient,” Stelmach said.

“If you could wave a wand and find a cure for cancer I think all of us would.”

Stelmach said there is a staffing issue, especially in Edmonton. Only 15 oncologists graduate from school annually, and Stelmach said he would like to see that number increase, but the issue in Calgary is overcrowding.

Friends of Medicare’s David Eggen said he is pleased to hear about the government’s capital project but says it’s already months overdue.

“It’s good and we hope they include expanding the Tom Baker but if you’re going to expand it, you’re going to need to be able to staff it, too, so we hope they are committed to a renewed investment in the operating budget,” he said.

Zwozdesky told Metro on Tuesday he is working on a plan to centralize the city’s cancer services, but it won’t include bringing back the Alberta Cancer Board, which the Alberta Liberals called for earlier this week.

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