Budget 2011 Commits to Better Cancer Care for Patients, Families

April 19, 2011

Premier Greg Selinger today announced the province is committing to invest $70 million in a new-state-of-the-art facility for CancerCare Manitoba to improve diagnostics, treatment and research that will help Manitoba families affected by this disease.

“Every family has been touched by cancer – wives, husbands, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters and friends,” Selinger said. “Our loved ones deserve the very best care and this new investment will help outstanding professionals in Manitoba deliver world-class diagnostics, treatment and research that will save lives.”

The premier said some of the features of this new facility will include:

* Canada’s first colorectal cancer centre of excellence to co-ordinate the screening, rapid diagnosis and treatment of the second-leading cause of cancer death. The centre will give patients access to a highly specialized team and facilitate research to rapidly adopt new knowledge into practice including tissue banking and molecular diagnosis.
* A centre for the rapidly expanding field of molecular and genetic testing that will enable personalized medicine according to the genetic makeup of the tumour. In tandem with partners such as Diagnostic Services Manitoba and genetics experts, it will offer genetic counselling and the latest advanced technologies to tailor treatments, enhancing appropriate use of leading-edge medical care.
* An Aboriginal cancer centre of excellence, which will help improve prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and palliative care of First Nation, Inuit and Métis populations, in a culturally appropriate environment. Making best use of efficiencies such as Telehealth, the centre will build on current projects linked to northern Manitoba communities.
* The Manitoba Cancer Research Centre, which will build on the world-class research and the reputation of the Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology. The centre will increase research capacity and Manitoba’s competitiveness in the biotechnology sector, which will also allow more clinical trials to be hosted in Manitoba. This will offer patients earlier access to emerging cancer therapies, while at the same time reducing drug costs.
* Team-based cancer clinic space, which will allow the large, specialized teams of medical professionals with expertise in cancer treatment to work together quickly on comprehensive,
co-ordinated treatment plans to better meet patient needs. In addition, it will also give world-class specialists the space they need and expect to do their work.
* Facilities providing more comfort and increased space for patients and families to allow for a better and more private, dignified and comfortable healing environment for patients and their families.

“This is a momentous step for CancerCare Manitoba as this new state-of-the-art facility will help us to attack cancer on every front, from prevention to early detection, to leading-edge care and treatment,” said Dr. Dhali Dhaliwal, president and CEO of CancerCare Manitoba. “We applaud the provincial government’s continued commitment to the fight against cancer and value their partnership as we all work together to change the course of cancer in Manitoba. The new facility will help to attract and retain outstanding health-care professionals and deliver excellent care and treatment to Manitobans when they need it most.”

The new space will support the training of family physicians, oncology nurses and other health-care professionals and enhance capacity to provide much-needed cancer education for patients and families, said Health Minister Theresa Oswald.

“Our government has been working very hard with health-care professionals, patients and their families to ensure people and resources are in place to get patients the help they need when they need it,” said Oswald. “The investments we have made over the last decade have improved services and built a strong foundation. This positions Manitoba to take the next step to address these challenges and build a cancer-care system that is not only the best in Canada, but among the best in the world because Manitoba families deserve no less.”

The new space will be tailored and focused on the needs of patients and their families, the minister said.

“We are proud to be a key partner with the province and honoured to lead the community campaign to raise funds for this very important initiative,” said Janice Filmon, incoming CancerCare Manitoba Foundation chair. “We are confident our generous donors throughout the province will be there, as they always are, supporting all Manitobans and their families living with cancer.”

Preliminary planning will begin immediately to determine the full cost and identify how to best integrate the new facility into the Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg campus.

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“This is a momentous step for CancerCare Manitoba as this new state-of-the-art facility will help us to attack cancer on every front, from prevention to early detection, to leading-edge care and treatment.” -Dr. Dhali Dhaliwal,