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New Health Policy Urges Montreal Hospitals To Reject Cancer Patients

Harmless guideline or financial directive?
New Health Policy Urges Montreal Hospitals To Reject Cancer Patients

Montreal's Health and Social Services Agency unveiled a new policy specifically addressing the treatment of cancer patients. The policy, from Tuesday's press release, directs doctors at Montreal hospitals to inform cancer patients who live off the island of available treatments closer to their homes.

Controversy has erupted.  People have taken this new policy to be a nice way of saying "please go somewhere else because we don't want you" to cancer patients who don't live in Montreal.

CBC covered the issue, and made it seem like a big misunderstanding. A spokesperson from Montreal's health agency said the policy is merely a "guideline," no person would be rejected treatment, and that they're merely trying to make things convenient to all patients.

According the The Gazette, the policy is not so warm and fuzzy. The PQ government is cutting funding to the city's cancer care centers and that's why patients are being persuaded to go elsewhere.

Knowing that money is at the core of this new policy makes it much more scary. Rather than a "guideline" it looks to be a financial directive, one backed by the provincial government.

Finances aside, think of the individual people this policy will affect.  Being diagnosed and living with cancer is an intense hardship, for the person and their entire family. Just think how traumatic it will be for a person to be told that they can't get the best help available.

What do you think of the this new policy?

For more on news in Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte

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