Jewish General Hospital weighs in on cancer care conundrum

Won't turn away patients who insist on being treated at JGH

The Jewish General Hospital says it will continue to accept off-island cancer patients who insist on being treated at their institution.

But it's not sure where the money will come to care for them.

Dr. Joseph Portnoy, director of professional services at the Jewish General, said the government's directives are clear - urge off-island cancer patients to seek treatment closer to home.

"We have little choice but to go along with what the minister has advocated," Dr. Portnoy told CJAD 800 News.

But Portnoy is equally clear that if patients insist on staying at the Jewish,

"We will have no choice but to accept these patients," Dr. Portnoy said. They even have a letter for those patients to sign to show that they were following the government's directives despite the patients' insistence.

However, Portnoy said any readjustments or cuts to their radiotherapy budget may mean there may not be any funding to treat those patients. He said he is also concerned about long waiting lists for the patients.

"The money for looking after patients should follow the patients and should be given to the hospitals that patients want to go to," Dr. Portnoy said.

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