eastern healNewfoundland women waited three years for cancer test results

On Friday, while taking a break from the inquiry, the head of the Canadian Cancer Societys Newfoundland Division, Peter Dawe, questioned the delay in notifying the women, who have not been identified.

I recall people in the department knew Eastern Health didnt disclose full numbers in December, Wiseman said.

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Wiseman told the inquiry he never asked his staff why briefing notes given to him before May 16, 2007 did not inclueastern healthsde a breakdown on the error rate for breast cancer tests at the lab.

Chaytor asked Wiseman if department officials knew that Eastern Health hadnt released the correct figures to the media in December 2006, and whether his officials were OK with that.

It was already known that 44 patients nine of whom have died had not been contacted by Eastern Health, although Health Minister Ross Wiseman said in February those people would be notified immediately.

Newfoundland health authorities are following up with the patients to see they get proper care, Pilgrim said.

Wiseman, who was testifying at the inquiry Friday, was asked by commission lawyer Sandra Chaytor why he kept saying publicly that Eastern Health had contacted all the patients affected when patients were saying they hadnt been contacted.

eastern healNewfoundland women waited three years for cancer test results,ST. JOHNS, N.L. Two Newfoundland women who were told they were being retested eastern healNewfoundland women waited three years for cancer test resultsfor breast cancer in 2005 only received their test results this week, a Newfoundland health authority says.

In December 2006, Eastern Health reported the rate of error as 10 per cent, but court documents made public in the spring showed it was four times as high.

It was at that point in May that the media reported the scope of the errors, as revealed in court documents relating to a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of breast cancer patients who got incorrect results on their tests.

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The tests are used to determine treatment options, but nearly 400 women got incorrect results, meaning they were excluded from therapy with the drug Tamoxifen and had chemo or radiation therapy instead.

I should not have repeated it as (frequently) and for such an extended period as I did, Wiseman said.

Two Newfoundland women who were told they were being retested for breast cancer in 2005 only received their test results this week, a Newfoundland health authority says.

It came as a public inquiry is underway into how hundreds of breast cancer tests were misdiagnosed at a St. Johns hospital lab, run by Eastern Health, from 1997 to 2005.

He added that the province should have started work much earlier on a database to determine who had been contacted and who hadnt.

Wiseman has said Eastern Health repeatedly gave his department wrong information. Even as the inquiry was being called in May 2007, there were background notes released publicly that repeated again that all patients had been contacted.

(Deputy health minister John) Abbott appeared to have some knowledge of it. I didnt suggest staff knew Eastern Health had intentionally not disclosed the information.

The delay in receiving the re-test results was due to miscommunication with regard to follow up procedures, Eastern Healths chief operating officer for cancer care, Patricia Pilgrim, said in a news release Friday.

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