Pan-Canadian Ostomy Supplies Reimbursement Policy Reform Meeting

Montreal – March 2nd, 2012

On March 2nd, 2012, the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (CCAC) hosted the Pan-Canadian Ostomy Supplies Reimbursement Policy Reform Meeting at the Montreal Airport Marriott Hotel.

In attendance were key healthcare professionals from across the country, contributing their expertise and experience towards the drafting of a consensus document for the reform of policies governing the reimbursement of ostomy supplies in Canada. Presentations throughout the day by colorectal surgeon Dr. Jean-Francois Latulippe, enterostomal therapy nurse (ETN) Joanne Hoeflok, psychosocial oncology specialist Dr. Mary Jane Esplen, economist Dr. Chris Longo, as well as our dedicated meeting chairs Gwen Turnbull and Louise Forest-Lalande (both ETNs), prepared the group with a comprehensive background on ostomies in Canada.

Issues such as the psychosocial impact of living with an ostomy, the psychosocial link between improved Quality of Life (QoL) and optimal reimbursement, the health care costs associated with ostomy-related complications resulting from suboptimal reimbursement of ostomy supplies, and the complex health care system within which the current reimbursement policies are embedded were explored. The meeting was a glowing success as the group reached consensus on all proposed statements.

Stay tuned as the CCAC endeavours to have the consensus document published in one of Canada’s prominent journals, which will then be subsequently utilized for advocacy purposes when addressing the various provincial policy makers overseeing the reimbursement of ostomy supplies.

The CCAC at the Employers Cancer Care Summit

CCAC president Barry D. Stein will be bringing the CCAC spirit to the Employers Cancer Care Summit, presenting Session 4: How Employers can help Employees– A Patient’s Perspective. The summit is happening on February 23rd in Toronto, and it promises to be an eye-opening event.

From the conference website: Cancer touches every family and every workplace.  More and more employers are facing the challenge of helping their employees deal with this disease whether as a patient, a family member or a caregiver.  While there are continual advancements in treatment and diagnosis, cancer continues to be a leading cause of death in Canadians. The Employers Cancer Care Summit will be a half-day educational event where plan sponsors can learn about new cancer treatments, side effects, workplace support, drug coverage, return-to-work strategies and the continuum of care.

We want to bring our message of healthy lifestyles and regular cancer screening out of hiding and into the workplace. Did you know that we currently have a workplace health program in research and development?

The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada is proud to be a part of this incredible initiative! I can’t wait to share more about this event with you. Let’s work together to provide patients of all cancers with the support they need.

A step in the right direction for Spain. ¡Felicitaciones!

ScienceDaily (Jan. 19, 2010) — Many industrialized countries welcomed reduced rates of colon cancer in the second half of the twentieth century, but Spain remains the exception. The most startling phenomenon is the ‘unstoppable increase’ in the incidence in both men and women. From 1951 to 2000 mortality also increased in Spain. These are the conclusions of the first map of colon cancer in Spain.

The article, published in ScienceDaily and based on the study results published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention,  goes on to suggest that there are startling disparities in the incidence of colon cancer worldwide.  Round up the usual suspects : tobacco, alcohol, processed food, red meat and low levels of exercise are all possible explanations for communities with higher rates of colorectal cancers.

The good news is that the mortality rate of colon cancer in Spain is stabilizing in both men and women after the five decades of increase.

Clearly, we still have a great deal of work to do, both abroad and here in Canada. As of right now, only four provinces (Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, and recently New Brunswick) have screening programs. Pilot programs have been launched in the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and PEI, with Quebec currently looking into launching its own pilot program. Citizens of Nunavut, the Yukon and Newfoundland & Labrador are still without a decision surrounding the creation of a pilot program.

So according to figures from the Statistics Canada population by province table, only about 55% of all Canadians have access to permanent screening programs (18,728,400).  Those living in provinces with running pilot programs number 14,436,800.  Those living in Nunavut, the Yukon and Newfoundland (574,800) are still without pilot screening programs.  The very same screening programs that make colorectal cancer preventable, treatable and beatable.

Read about the CCAC’s vital Advocacy Goals:

View the complete ScienceDaily article on the CCAC website. The CCAC updates its news section often!