November 6, 2018 6:32 pm
Updated: November 6, 2018 6:51 pm

CancerCare Manitoba under financial review by the province

Manitoba Finance Minister Cameron Friesen speaks at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg on March 12, 2018. Manitoba's health minister says there is clear evidence that people with addictions issues are migrating to methamphetamine. Cameron Friesen says meth use has increased significantly, creating a complex problem that has the government's full attention. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski

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The province says it’s auditing CancerCare Manitoba to find out how its service measure up against other provinces.

“This review may determine that we’re the best in the country, it may determine there are areas that we can improve in and as a government we are obligated to do that sort of investigation to see where we stand,” Health Minister Cameron Friesen told 680 CJOB.

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The government initially planned a $300 million CancerCare expansion, but in February 2017 cancelled it.

The province issued a request for proposals on Oct. 29 asking for consultants to review the “overall operational efficiency and fiscal performance of CancerCare Manitoba by benchmarking with similar cancer organizations in Canada.”

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“This is the transformation that were in right now in health care, where were saying that Manitobans have a right to receive better care sooner and we’re going to carry through with that promise,” said Friesen.

NDP leader Wab Kinew and the union representing about 300 CancerCare staff said they feel the review will prompt health care cuts.

“The request for proposals to review CancerCare is not about improving health care for Manitoba families, it’s about justifying health care cuts,” said Shannon McAteer, CUPE Health Care Coordinator. “Manitoba families in treatment deserve a government that will put their needs first.”

Friesen refuted the idea that the goal is to spend less money on CancerCare. “I’m out to make great investments that help us deliver better services in less amount of time.”

The government won’t say how much the review will cost. The closing date for the bid is Nov. 16.

CancerCare Manitoba is a provincially mandated cancer agency and is responsible for setting strategic priorities and long-term planning for cancer and blood disorders.

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