Island Health has reversed its previous decision to cut hours and staff at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital cancer clinic.
A statement on Wednesday said the cancer clinic would no longer offer IV chemotherapy services on Mondays as of January 2014, cutting the service back to four days a week instead of five and displacing one nurse.
The cutbacks would have likely forced some patients to travel to Victoria for IV chemotherapy.
On Thursday, Island Health announced it has "reversed this decision and will continue to provide this important service five days per week."
Island Health expressed "deep regret that this occurred and for any distress this has caused to patients, their families and to our staff" and stated new leadership in the program area wasn't aware of the upcoming service change.
Ron Paradise, a patient at the NRGH cancer clinic who receives IV chemotherapy, said he has lost almost 60 lbs since starting treatment and he and his wife have gone through enough stress without having to go back and forth to Victoria.
Paradise, who receives chemotherapy multiple times per week, said hearing the decision was reversed was good news.
"I'm just astounded that they would even think about going that way but I'm pleased to hear that they're not," he said.
"A lot of money gets used on administration (and) equipment that should be used on the masses."
Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog was "delighted" by the news and hopes decisions that won't work for patients won't be made in the future.
"This is a triumph for patients," he said.
"The initial decision was essentially a tax shift, forcing people who would otherwise be able to receive the service here to go to Victoria, at no small expense or inconvenience to their families, to their wallets or to themselves."
Earlier this week, Island Health stated the cancer clinic is funded by the B.C. Cancer Clinic and funding hasn't changed, which is why services were to be cut.
Island Health earlier apologized for the inconvenience of patients having to travel to the clinic in Victoria for IV chemotherapy.
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