A Tim Houston PC Government will ensure that all firefighters in Nova Scotia have access to lifesaving cancer drugs. While firefighters protect communities across Nova Scotia every day, a sad reality is that more than one in two will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetimes, with studies showing elevated risks compared to the general population.
“Firefighters are invaluable to their communities and that unfortunately puts their health at risk,” said Tim Houston, PC Leader. “I believe we have a moral obligation to ensure they have the best possible insurance and health coverage.”
A Tim Houston PC government will extend presumptive coverage of additional forms of cancer linked to firefighting including: ureter, penile, testicular, breast, esophageal, prostate, skin, digestive tract, multiple myeloma, pancreatic, ovarian and cervical cancers to any and all firefighters who are not currently covered.
This is in addition to brain, bladder, kidney, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia and colorectal cancer. This presumptive coverage will extend coverage to any and all firefighters who do not have coverage to these cancers already.
For Chief Jamie Juteau from District 4 of Windsor Fire Department, extending protection to all firefighters by recognizing additional cancer protections is paramount.
“We appreciate the PC Party is going to push to have the additional cancers added to the list for us,” says Juteau. “The scope of incidents fire departments respond to, such as fires and hazardous materials calls, are exposing our members to products of combustion and chemicals that can - and do - have long term effects on firefighters.”
Currently, only six forms of cancer are covered with data that supports the connection between many more types of cancer and firefighters. For example, female firefighters have higher rates of reproductive cancers as compared to non-firefighters.
“The PC Party has a strong history of recognizing the potential health consequences of being a firefighter,'' said Tory Rushton, PC Candidate in Cumberland South and a former volunteer fire chief. “Today there are over 6,000 volunteer firefighters in Nova Scotia who are covered under the 2003 Firefighters Compensation Act, introduced and passed by a PC Government. This insightful piece of legislation made Nova Scotia the first province to include volunteer firefighters in this kind of coverage.”