Media Release

The Canadian Cancer Society welcomes the new plan to rebuild Quebec’s health network, an essential initiative for people with cancer and their caregivers


 The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) welcomes the inclusion of several measures outlined in the Plan de rétablissement du système de santé (health network recovery plan) unveiled today by Christian Dubé, Minister of Health and Social Services, such as the importance given to disease prevention, health promotion, the prioritization of cancer screening, and the modernization of the health data access framework.

The Government of Québec is the first province in Canada to initiate such a major post-COVID plan on the recovery, modernization and future of the health network.

Making disease prevention a cornerstone of the health network:

CCS is delighted with the importance given to disease prevention and the promotion of health and healthy living in the plan presented by Minister Dubé. A healthy population is one that uses its healthcare system less and is more resilient to disease.

According to a ComPARe (Canadian Population Attributable Risk of Cancer) study co-funded by CCS, an estimated 4 in 10 cases of cancer can be prevented through healthy living and good health policies that protect Canadians.

The Politique gouvernementale de prévention en santé (PGPS-governmental public health policy on prevention) is a remarkable and unique interdepartmental tool that will form the cornerstone of the plan to rebuild Quebec’s health network. The five-year $235.9 million investment announced in the budget to support this policy also shows the government’s commitment in this area.

“Making prevention the cornerstone of the strategy to rebuild our health network is essential. Taking action before disease strikes to have a healthier population, optimizing access to screening programs, and taking preventative action in the midst of disease to improve the prognosis of people with cancer and their quality of life will ease pressure on our healthcare system. It’s a necessary long-term investment that must include research”, insists Diego Mena, Vice-President, Strategic Mission Initiatives and Engagement at the Canadian Cancer Society.

CCS has been a long-time partner of the Government of Québec in cancer prevention matters and has established many initiatives to promote healthy living.

Putting the focus on cancer screening:

CCS is pleased to see that the government has made cancer screening a top priority in order to better serve the needs of Quebecers. Cancer is still the number one cause of death in Canada and between our aging population and the repercussions of postponed procedures due to the pandemic, screening needs for all types of cancer will only increase.

Detecting cancer quickly in people with this disease will improve prognoses, reduce the impact of treatments on the quality of life of patients, and limit the pressure put on our already greatly weakened healthcare system.

One matter the government could quickly act on is an organized colorectal cancer screening program that would enable screening tests to be done on around two million Quebecers.

"Quebec is the only province in the country not to have an organized colorectal cancer screening program, and early diagnosis of this disease is associated with a survival rate of more than 90%, compared to a late stage diagnosis of only 13%”, explains Mr. Mena.

Modernizing the data access framework

Integrated health data management is critical to modernizing our health network. Indeed, between Bill 19, the $788 million investment to modernize the health network announced in the last budget, and measures included in this plan, the government is acquiring important tools to better support people with cancer on their wellness journey. Giving citizens guaranteed access to their health data so they can quickly access the care they need would set Quebec apart.

However, these funds should also be used to update the Quebec Cancer Registry, whose data date back to 2010, while that of other provinces date back to 2017-2018. As an expert on cancer data, CCS is fully prepared to work with the Government of Quebec to move this initiative forward.

About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society works tirelessly to save and improve lives. We fund the brightest minds in cancer research. We provide a compassionate support system for all those affected by cancer, from coast to coast and for all types of cancer. As the voice for Canadians who care about cancer, we work with governments to establish health policies to prevent cancer and better support those living with the disease. No other organization does all that we do to improve lives today and to change the future of cancer forever.

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For more information, please contact:

Jack-Malcolm Samedi
Communications Manager
Canadian Cancer Society