Ontario gives Ottawa cancer care $140M boost
Last updated Mar 10 2006 08:25 AM EST
The Ontario government announced Thursday it will invest $140 million to upgrade cancer care facilities at two Ottawa hospitals, a boost that doctors say could dramatically reduce wait times.
Premier Dalton McGuinty announced the $140 million project at the Queensway-Carleton Hospital.
It’s a “huge 200 per cent improvement in our wait time and access problem,” said Dr. Hartly Stern, vice-president of the Regional Cancer Centre.
The money will be invested in building extensions for both the Queensway-Carleton Hospital and the General Campus of the Ottawa Hospital to house a total of five new radiation machines. That almost doubles the current number of machines in the city.
Wait times for radiation treatment in Ottawa average eight weeks, one of the longest in the province. Oncologists say the new machines will cut wait times to only two or three weeks.
Ottawa’s cancer centres treat about 6,000 new patients a year. As the city’s population ages and increases, that number is expected to climb to about 8,000 within a decade.
The new facilities, which are expected to be complete in three or four years, will enable the city to stay ahead of the demand, says Stern.
Premier Dalton McGuinty unveiled the project Thursday morning at the Queensway-Carleton Hospital.