Ontario NDP Leader Pledges Universal Access To Take-Home Cancer Drugs

“It’s time to guarantee universal access to take-home cancer medications, making sure that patients have access to the treatments they need at no out-of-pocket cost.”                                  – NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted May 1st, 2018 on Niagara At Large

This past  Monday, April 30th, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath met with local cancer survivors to discuss her party’s plan to guarantee universal, free access to take-home cancer drugs.

 “Cancer is the leading cause of death in Ontario, and our current system forces patients to jump through hoops to access the latest, most appropriate treatments. And for all too many patients, it means unnecessary hospital visits, and long, stressful waits,” said Horwath. 

 “It’s time to guarantee universal access to take-home cancer medications, making sure that patients have access to the treatments they need at no out-of-pocket cost.”

The majority of new cancer treatments being released are treatments patients can take at home, but Ontario’s current drug programs offer only limited access to these newer medications. While drugs given to a patient at the hospital are always free, drugs they can take home are not always free — or affordable.

 “A number of other provinces have already made take-home cancer treatments widely available – it’s wrong for patients in Ontario to have anything less,” said Horwath. “This program will reduce stress and costs for cancer patients, while freeing up more hospital resources for other patients.”

Other NDP health care commitments include:

  • Hospital funding that keeps up with inflation and community needs, including $1.2 billion in immediate investments
  • A moratorium on any further layoffs of frontline care workers
  • A wide-ranging, properly resourced public inquiry into problems plaguing the long-term care system
  • Creating 15,000 new long-term care beds over the next five years — rising to 40,000 new beds by 2028.
  • Launching Canada’s first truly universal pharmacare program, which will provide prescription drug coverage for all Ontarians, and providing dental care for everyone

 “The Liberals have spent the last 15 years freezing and cutting hospital budgets. Kathleen Wynne should have made take-home cancer drugs available and free, but she chose not to,” said Horwath.

 “And Doug Ford has vowed to make cuts across the board, slashing health care rather than fixing, building and improving the care Ontarians need. That kind of change would be devastating to cancer patients and their families, who need more support — not less.

 “I’m committed to doing everything a government can to relieve the worry patients and families feel after a cancer diagnosis. We can give everyone facing a battle with cancer the best fighting chance by making the treatment their doctor prescribes available, and free, no matter when and where they need it. That’s change for the better, for all Ontarians.”

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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