Christy Clark government breaks promise to childhood cancer survivors

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FullSizeRenderVICTORIA— The Christy Clark government has broken its promise to survivors of childhood cancer, say the New Democrats.

“Early in 2015, the Christy Clark government promised to provide a comprehensive clinic to help people suffering the late effects of the cancer treatment they received in childhood,” said New Democrat health spokesperson Judy Darcy. “Now we’re learning that the patients who suffered the most will get the least from this new program..

“This is shameful treatment by the Christy Clark government of people who have suffered enough and deserve better.”

The Pediatric Cancer Survivorship Society of B.C., with the support of the Official Opposition, had pressed for years for a multi-disciplinary program to treat childhood cancer survivors who were once treated at the B.C. Children’s Hospital and who may now be faced with overwhelming and catastrophic health issues.

The aggressive treatment used to save their lives often left survivors with debilitating physical and cognitive health issues, including secondary cancers, organ failure, infertility, blindness and post-traumatic stress disorder. Unfortunately, many doctors are unaware of the long-term effects of typical cancer treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy on children.

Last February, the government finally relented and promised a dedicated program. It was only recently that survivors and their families learned that this was just another empty Christy Clark promise.

“It’s not too late for the Christy Clark government to do the right thing,” said Darcy. “Premier Clark should act today to make sure that the full range of services promised are actually delivered.”