wicked witch of the North
- Jul 5, 2004
- Ottawa, Canada
Liberal MP Belinda Stronach,who is battling breast cancer, travelled to California last June for an operation that was recommended as part of her treatment, says a report.
Stronach's spokesman, Greg MacEachern, told the Toronto Star that the MP for Newmarket-Aurora had a "later-stage" operation in the U.S. after a Toronto doctor referred her.
"Belinda had one of her later-stage operations in California, after referral from her personal physicians in Toronto. Prior to this, Belinda had surgery and treatment in Toronto, and continues to receive follow-up treatment there," said MacEachern.
He said speed was not the reason why she went to California.
Instead, MacEachern said the decision was made because the U.S. hospital was the best place to have it done due to the type of surgery required.
Stronach was diagnosed last spring with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The cancer is one of the more treatable forms but Stronach still required a mastectomy -- which was done in Toronto -- and breast reconstruction.
Stronach, who announced last April she would be leaving politics before the next election, paid for the surgery in the U.S., reports the Star.
"As we said back in June when we confirmed the surgery, this is a personal and private matter between Belinda, her family and her physicians. I think you'll understand that because of respect for Belinda's privacy, we refrained from offering specific details around her medical treatment," said MacEachern.
While it is rare for MPs to seek treatment outside Canada, MacEachern said Stronach was not lacking confidence in the system.
"In fact, Belinda thinks very highly of the Canadian health-care system, and uses it when needed for herself and her children, as do all Canadians. As well, her family has clearly demonstrated that support," MacEachern told the Star.
MacEachern did not offer any other details regarding what type of surgery Stronach had or what she paid for it.
Frankly, I'm disgusted. She's an MP for the same Liberals who vowed to never let a privatized system usurp what we have.\
As rich as she is, she can fly wherever she wants for health care. She shouldn't be denying other Canadians from doing the same without leaving the country.