A situation that is taking place in communities in many states across the nation has led a local cancer care center to take measures to ensure it can meet the needs of its patients.

On a national level, there has been a shortage of healthcare providers, including medical oncologists. Unfortunately, Maine has not been exempt from this shortage.

In an effort to make sure patients being referred to the Northern Light Cancer Care Center in Brewer are able to get the treatment they need, Northern Light says they will have to defer some of the new cases sent their way.


"Due to a national shortage of medical oncologists, Northern Light Cancer Care in Brewer made the difficult decision to temporarily defer some new medical oncology referrals to ensure the safe care of our patients."

In a statement released this week, Northern Light clarified that they are still taking new cancer patients who are being treated surgically or with radiation. And referrals that are in their system are also being considered.

"We are now taking medical oncology referrals from Northern Light Health providers and continue to take patient referrals for radiation and surgical oncology. "

Northern Light stresses that this adjustment is a temporary one, and as the situation changes, they will adapt to it.

"To support the needs of our community, we have contracted with temporary providers as we recruit for permanent oncologists and work on plans to open to all patient referrals in the new year."

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