Hope you find this interesting.
(See BC,AB,Ont info below0
Private chemotherapy clinics on the rise in Canada
pdated Mon. Feb. 5 2007 9:56 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff
At least 20 private infusion clinics are scheduled to open in six provinces by the end of 2007, the Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Canada reported in its annual report card on Monday.
The research-based report, written by oncologists and cancer patients across the country is Canada's only independent evaluation of the cancer system.
Bayshore Infusion Clinics are a collaborative enterprise involving Roche Canada, a drug company licensed to produce Avastin, Herceptin, Rituxan, Xeloda, and Tarceva; Bayshore Clinics, which provides the facilities; and McKesson Canada, which is administering the program.
At these clinics, patients can buy cancer medicine not covered by their provincial governments. Medication is administered to cancer patients by a nurse under a doctor's supervision.
Providing the infusion service at a hospital would be seen as an infringement of the Canada Health Act as it could be considered paying for a medically necessary service.
Three private infusion clinics are slated to open in B.C., one in Winnipeg, one in New Brunswick, two in Nova Scotia.
Furthermore, nine are open or will soon open in Ontario while six have opened or are about to in Quebec. At this time, there are no plans for a Bayshore Infusion clinic in Saskatchewan.
The report card says these private clinics will challenge provincial cancer centres and hospitals to continue to provide potentially important new treatments, both curative and palliative, within the public system.
"How many new cancer drugs will be added in the future to the self-pay option is uncertain. Cancer patients facing self pay, especially those without insurance coverage, fear their governments will increasingly offload the expense regardless of whether patients can afford to pay," the report card says.
Patients also complain, the report card says, that they are unreasonably forced to pay for their cancer treatment while people dealing with other life-threatening diseases are not expected to pay for the cost of their hospital care.
The report card also says that self-pay for most of the studied drugs would mean financial disaster.
For others, a third-party insurance plan purchased in better times might prove inadequate, especially if annual caps or other constraints make only a dent in the total cost.
Other key observations in the report:
Alberta added the most cancer drugs in 2006 while Ontario funded more drugs in 2006 than the year before. However both provinces still lag well behind B.C.;
All provinces now impose a range of "limited access" conditions for key drugs, making it more difficult than ever to receive publicly funded cancer treatment. B.C. has the fewest restrictions while Ontario has the most;
In 2005, only Alberta had a formal private-pay program for cancer drugs within its provincial cancer agency. One year later, the number increased to five provinces, including Saskatchewan, Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, and B.C.
With a report from CTV's Avis Favaro and Elizabeth St. Philip