Yvonne Jones, MHA for the District of Cartwright LíAnse Au Clair and
Opposition Health Critic, calls the cancer screening process in the province
largely insufficient and she is strongly urging government to immediately
address this serious shortfall in the health care system.
the Newfoundland and Labrador Cancer Society, breast screening in this
province has been described as ad hoc and willy nilly," says Jones. "In
fact, we are only reaching 40 per cent of the women we wish to target and
that is simply not acceptable by any standards, especially by Canadian
criteria. It is a scandalous statistic and it is even more appalling for
rural women because the further you move outside the St. Johnís area, the
higher the number of those not properly screened.
"What inflames this situation is that the minister of health has
shockingly stated, in response to my questions in the House of Assembly on
April 12th, that his government has addressed breast cancer. He is clearly
not fulfilling his obligation as minister in providing the best leadership
on health care improvements.
"Not only is the screening process grossly inadequate for breast cancer,
screening for cervical and colorectal cancers is also considered largely
inadequate. We have one of the highest rates of colorectal cancer mainly
because we have a genetic component which drives this disease. Yet, given
the prevalence of this disease in our province and the inexpensive method
for screening, this government has not implemented a full screening process
to bring it under control, or at the very least wrestle it down to a North
"It is most troublesome to see the government being so passive about an
issue that is of great concern to many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.
With our aging population, cancer rates in our province is expected to climb
by 60 per cent in the next several decades. The inaction by this government
today will have a long-term negative impact on peopleís health in the
future. Ask people if this is the right choice and there is little doubt
that governmentís less than proactive and caring approach to this issue
would be given a poor bill of health."