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CancerCare Manitoba to consolidate service locations

Seven Oaks General Hospital. Sam Thompson/Global News

Outpatient cancer patients receiving care at Concordia Hospital and Seven Oaks General Hospital are being shifted.

CancerCare Manitoba (CCMB) announced Friday it will now function out of four sites instead of six, providing outpatient services at 675 McDermot Ave. and the CCMB sites at St. Boniface, Victoria and Grace hospitals.

President and CEO of CCMB Dr. Sri Navaratnam told 680 CJOB the merger will provide enhanced, high-quality cancer services to patients.

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She said the current standard they want to provide for patients is multi-disciplinary, making appointments with oncologists, psycho-social supports and other services available in one place.

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“We do not offer that at the present time at the Concordia or Seven Oaks sites,” said Dr. Navaratnam.

Staff at the affected sites have been informed of the upcoming changes and CCMB is working with the involved unions through the transition — there is no reduction in staffing due to the changes.

Patients affected are few according to Dr. Navaratnam, saying the operations at the impacted sites is less than three per cent.

“It’s less than 200 overall as apposed to six thousand new patients that get diagnosed with cancer,” she said.

The transition will take place over the next few months with a targeted finish date of December 2020.

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Dr. Navaratnam said it’s a positive change for patients as CCMB evolves, saying Concordia and Seven Oaks started decades ago with a single doctor to provide one service, which is no longer the standard of care they wish to provide.

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“Cancer itself is very tough on them, so we want to make everything possible to ease their journey,” said Dr. Navaratnam.

Patients impacted by the shift will be contacted by CCMB to help ensure a smooth transition to their new preferred site.

Letters are also being sent in the next few weeks to all affected patients detailing the information related to the change.