After October 12, there will be no full-time chemotherapy nurse in the Yukon.
But the Whitehorse General Hospital is working to find a temporary nurse who can come up for three weeks while the current nurse is away, said Rao Tadepalli, president of the Yukon Medical Association.
In the meantime, doctors will work with patients to see if any chemo treatments can be delayed, he said. There are about 20 patients receiving chemotherapy in the territory.
At the end of last week, doctors were told the territory’s only chemotherapy nurse would be leaving. The nurse administers intravenous chemotherapy treatments.
She was hired on a contract. She will return after three weeks, on a temporary basis.
The absence of a full-time chemotherapy nurse is “concerning to say the least,” said Tadepalli. Travelling down south for treatment is stressful.
“It’s not the same when you’re living out of a hotel and getting chemo. Having friends and family and being closer to the atmosphere where you’re from is much more helpful when you’re going through the diagnosis of cancer.”
The government does help cover some costs of receiving care outside of the territory.