Pallister Government Cut Mobile Breast Cancer Screening

December 14, 2018

Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew and NDP Critic for Status of Women Nahanni Fontaine expressed concern about internal government documents that reveal a $25,000 cut to the mobile cancer clinic ‘Breastcheck’. The cut comes after the NDP received multiple reports of last minute cancelled appointments.

Budget cuts at CancerCare Manitoba were discovered through freedom of information requests.

“Cancer screening saves lives - this is why mobile units are so important. They provide essential health care to countless women outside Winnipeg,” said Kinew. “This cut will mean fewer women are able to access life-saving screening and later diagnosis for cancer patients.”

Kinew was first made aware of this issue after several women reported cancelled appointments and months-long waitlists.

“For women living in rural Manitoba, mobile clinics are the best access to cancer prevention,” said Fontaine. “The cut to cancer screening was done without communication to the women who depend on this service to inform their personal health decisions. It puts their health and the health of our communities at risk.”

Kinew and Fontaine called on the Health Minister to restore funding for the service and immediately reschedule any cancelled appointments, so Manitoba women are checked for cancer in a timely manner.

They noted the Canadian Task Force on Preventative Health Care has released updated screening guidelines that underline the importance and effectiveness of mammogram tests in detecting breast cancer.

“The Premier has only just begun his value for money review of Cancer Care yet we are already seeing cuts to cancer services,” said Kinew. “Breast screening is a life-saving tool for Manitoba women that should be protected, not cut.”