Part of the provincial auditor general’s annual report examined Ontario’s $1.6-billion cancer care system.
And while most patients are well-served, Bonnie Lysyk concludes long waits for certain procedures and inefficiencies related to other remain in some areas of care.
For example, only 46% of key biopsies were performed within the Ministry of Health’s 14-day target.
The target to provide radiation therapy in 48% of cancer cases has not been met with less than 40% actually receiving it in 2015-16.
Her report also found the province is spending millions to send patients to the U.S. for stem cell transplants because of limited capacity to perform them here.
Such a transplant in Ontario costs on average $128,000 while in the the U.S. it jumps to $660,000.
The AG also says the full cost of cancer drugs is not covered for patients if they’re not administered in hospital.
However, in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, such coverage is provided regardless of where the drugs are taken.