More support added
Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce behind movement to locate services at Yarmouth Regional Hospital
The push to have radiation services located at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital has gained more support.
The Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce has added its voice and support to a movement to have a cancer radiation unit established at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital.
Months ago a grassroots movement was started on Facebook. The Western Nova Scotia Cancer Support Network is pushing for cancer radiation services to be located at the Yarmouth hospital to serve people in western Nova Scotia. The social media network also wants to see the province cover cancer medications that are taken orally, the same way chemotherapy treatment is covered.
The Yarmouth Hospital Foundation has also been working behind the scenes for years to see if radiation services can be located here.
Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Matthew Trask says the chamber feels this is an important cause to support.
“The Yarmouth & Area Chamber of Commerce, along with the Barrington Chamber of Commerce and the Weymouth Board of Trade have publicly supported this initiative,” Trask says.
He says the Yarmouth chamber continues to use the strength- in- numbers approach to get more businesses and regions onside.
The chamber is helping to circulate petitions prepared by the Facebook cancer support network (started by Yarmouth resident Derek Lesser) that the chamber’s members can display at their places of business. The petitions are to be presented to the provincial government by the support network.
The Yarmouth chamber has close to 300 members. A letter, with the petition, went out to all of them last Friday.
Should a business choose not to display the petition, Trask says that shouldn’t be seen as a case that the business doesn’t support the initiative, as they may be offering their support in other ways.
Trask has also written a letter of support on the chamber’s behalf that he’s sent to the Yarmouth MLA and the province’s health minister. The Yarmouth chamber has also sent correspondence to other chambers in western Nova Scotia – stretching around from Bridgewater/ Lunenburg to Kentville.
“I’ve asked them to speak with their boards and ask them for their support because it doesn’t just affect the people in Yarmouth,” says Trask, who is also involved with the hospital foundation. Trask says there are very few people who haven’t been touched by cancer, either directly or indirectly.
“I’m sure everybody has a family member or a friend that’s been affected by this. It’s unfortunate that we have some people in this province that have to drive three or more hours for radiation. When you’re undergoing something like that, it’s not a time when you need the added stress and worry of travelling that distance.”
There are eight linear accelerators – the machines that provide radiation treatment – in the province. Six are located in Halifax and two are in Sydney.
“If Yarmouth is considered a regional centre, then it’s a logical spot for this service,” Trask says.