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Liberals to increase cancer patients' access to stem cell transplants

Eric Hoskins makes his way to a cabinet briefing after being sworn in as Ontario health minister at Queens Park on June 24, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young.

Ontario’s Health Minister has pledged to increase access to stem cell transplants for cancer patients.

Eric Hoskins said in a news release that “there are additional steps” his government can take to improve care.

The announcement comes after a Toronto Star investigation revealed the province had been outsourcing cancer patients to the U.S.

Hoskins said in the release that he’s directed his ministry to “expand access to stem cell therapy treatment, where clinically recommended, to leukemia patients who are not in complete remission after chemotherapy.”

He said he set up a ministerial task force to consult and advise on best practices, and he would be providing additional operating funding to the stem cell transplant centres.