Canada's Public Healthcare System

Challenges facing patients and doctors

How to Choose the Right Oncologist

In Canada, public health care oncologists are obligated to provide a good standard of care to a large number of people on a limited budget.

They are also obligated, by contract, to only offer patients a limited selection of tests and treatments which have been deemed by higher-ups to be the best balance of effectiveness in cost and outcome. In other words, these (lower cost) options allow the budget to be spread over more patients.

Public health care, therefore, offers both advantages and disadvantages: this utilitarian approach allows most cancer patients to access decent treatment(s); however, it doesn’t allow them to access the best tests and treatments on the market.

  • Consequences of standard public health care:
    • The treatment you’re on might not be the right one for you.
    • The treatment you’re on might be causing unnecessary harmful side effects.
    • The information you received from standard tests about your cancer might not be accurate.
    • Your treatment monitoring might be inaccurate, which decreases your chance at a successful recovery, as well as your quality of life.
Doctors in a line at hospital window

Our precision oncology specialists believe that all cancer patients should be given as much information as possible about their form of cancer and the best possible treatment options available to them through medical science. This requires an experienced support team of advocates to ensure you gain rapid access to the treatment you need.

CTOAM always strives to achieve these goals with your local public health care oncologist, and we are often very successful. However, sometimes the treatment you need is simply not available through public health care. For these cases, CTOAM has a network of community oncologists that also works closely with local cancer agencies in the public health care system (such as BC Cancer Agency). These oncologists are able to prescribe the treatments that our precision oncology specialists have recommended for you, based on the evidence we present through genetic testing, analysis, and personalized research.

  • Lisa’s Success Story: Please read cancer patient Lisa’s story to see a real-life example of how this works in practice. We were able to get Lisa the treatment she needed by reaching out to one of our community oncologists for the prescription. You can also see her interview to hear about her personal experience with CTOAM.

If you have any questions about this subject, or want to learn more about how you can access the most advanced tests and treatments that medical science has to offer, please email or call us today. Register for a Precision Second Opinion.

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