Excellent news to share. We were gearing up for the OHIP vs. rcc patient hearing on Monday May 31st. OHIP’s legal counsel had been asking a lot of questions and so this promised to be a full-day legal process. (Think of it as the Patient vs. The Province of Ontario, quite a daunting process to put anyone through, let alone someone with a life-threatening cancer.)
Thankfully sanity has prevailed.
The hearing is cancelled because OHIP has decided to fund HD-IL2 (again).
We can speculate on what changed their decision, but again, that would only be speculation. With any type of patient advocacy, sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly WHAT specific actions worked in the end. I know that we had many people lining up behind this patient: patients, physicians, KCC, and the Cancer Advocacy Coalition. There is definitely strength in numbers, and in having a voice in the process. No patient should have to do battle with the province alone.
Thank you to everyone who pitched in with ideas. We do not expect any further challenge to HD-IL2 in Ontario now that we have this decision reversed. The Ministry has commented that the CCO Guidelines have to be modified, but we can deal with that in due time. The important thing is that our patient John gets the treatment his oncologist firmly believes is the best for him. Best of luck in Buffalo John, and thank you for fighting this decision on behalf of the other patients who will come behind you.
A last thanks to the late Suzanne Aucoin, a colorectal cancer patient who died in 2007 after a long but successful fight with OHIP to fund the treatments she needed. Suzanne paved the way for patients to fight back and be successful. Her website, Help Suzanne Aucoin, is still active and lists all of the media she drew to the plight of cancer patients in their fight for treatments. Suzanne, as patient advocates, we continue to follow in your footsteps…