July 23rd, 2024

Oncologist wait times worsening, says Alberta Medical Association


By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on July 6, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Wait times for oncologists in Alberta are unsafe and worsening.

That’s the message being made Friday by Dr. Paul Parks, president of the Alberta Medical Association.

Parks said in a release that oncologists deliver life-saving procedures seven days a week at all hours of day but their work is being hindered by shortages in support teams needed for surgeries, both emergency and scheduled.

“The impact is extremely concerning,” said Parks in his statement.

The AMA says 22 of 25 newly trained oncologists have left Alberta during the past four years. The number of weeks it takes from referral to first consult has increased to 8.9 weeks in the first quarter of 2024-25 from six weeks in 2018-19. In 2023-24, the wait was 8.3 weeks and in 2022-23 it was 6.9 weeks.

The inability to recruit oncologists to Alberta means wait times are going to get longer, says the AMA, noting that the province needs 35 new oncologists just to meet the current demand.

From 2017-2022 there was a 25 per cent increase in cancer patient visits, a 10 per cent increase in unique cancer patients but only a one per cent increase in oncologists here, says the AMA.

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Southern Albertan

It speaks volumes that during the last 4 years, 22 of 25 newly trained oncologists have left Alberta. Left Alberta……unreal. Where have they all gone? Where there isn’t a UCP/TBA government? Imagine that….

buckwheat

Be interesting to see why they left and for where instead of an open ender where anyone can crap on the government. Such as it is today.



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