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Jamie West stands up for BSAS program during question period

Calls on Health Minister to fully fund HSN and protect lifesaving programs

Jamie West, NDP MPP for Sudbury, called on the Ford government to properly fund Health Sciences North during question period on Dec. 5.

West said HSN has been massively underfunded for years, forcing it to claw back services due to cuts by previous Liberal and Conservative governments. 

More recently, he said the community rallied to protect the hospital’s breast cancer screening clinic after it contemplated moving one of its services, surgical consultations, completely off-site.

West said he’s worried that without proper funding for the hospital, the people of the north won’t have access to the same excellent patient care as a woman named Melissa, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at only 32 years old.

“That dedicated team at the breast cancer screening clinic responded quickly to her aggressive cancer,” said West. “Later, when she developed a rare infection, the clinic helped her navigate the system and ensured that she received the best care.

“Melissa is now cancer-free, but she’s worried how those recent cuts to the clinic will impact patients. She’s worried that other patients will have to wait longer to see a surgeon or go through unnecessary stress while waiting to hear a diagnosis.”

Health Sciences North has decided to continue to schedule surgical consultations at the clinic, on a reduced schedule. And the clinic’s other services — cancer screening mammography, diagnostic imaging, and biopsies — continue on as they always have,the press release said. But West worries about the future. 

“The cost-cutting measures forced onto Health Sciences North through systemic underfunding threatens patient care for the women in the north,” said West.

“Will the minister fully fund our hospital and protect lifesaving programs?”