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Wig rebate for cancer patients in N.S.

By Caitlin Snow May 2, 2024 | 12:01 PM

The province wants to help you out if you are dealing with hair loss due to cancer.

Nova Scotia says you can apply for a one-time wig rebate of $300 to help with the cost.

Wigs can range from $200 to $2000, with the average cost about $650.

Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson says a cancer diagnosis is scary enough.

“Hair loss due to the treatment needed to fight the cancer can be very upsetting for people going through an already very difficult time. We want to give people some help to buy a wig if they choose and hopefully let them focus more of their energy on getting well.”

The government has made several cancer-care improvements recently, including:

– launching a new lung screening program, as well as screening programs for colon, cervical and breast cancers

– providing more funding for community oncology clinics, helping more people get the care they need closer to home

– enhancing communication among oncology providers and patients, resulting in improved care, shorter wait times and better results

– introducing a first-in-the-world Ethos radiotherapy system with HyperSight imaging, decreasing the average number of treatments to five from 20

– a new 10-year partnership with Varian that will make Nova Scotians among the first in the world to access new oncology technology and innovative programs.

Manager of Advocacy for Atlantic Canada, Canadian Cancer Society, Heather Mulligan says, cancer patients and their families continue to face new and increasing out-of-pocket costs associated with their care.

“This includes supportive products, like wigs, which help patients regain a sense of self during and after treatment. This rebate will support our most vulnerable Nova Scotians in reducing some of the financial barriers in purchasing a wig. We at the Canadian Cancer Society also provide Nova Scotians with free wigs and supportive breast accessories, no matter where they live or what income they earn. To learn more, visit cancer.ca or call 1-888-939-3333.”

To be eligible for the program, people must:

– be a resident of Nova Scotia with a valid health card

– have a gross family income no greater than $35,000 per year

– be enrolled in the Drug Assistance for Cancer Patients Program

– not have private insurance that covers the cost of a wig.

The province also provides a rebate for mastectomy breast prostheses, as well as two programs that support low-income cancer patients – the Assistance for Cancer Patients and the Boarding, Transportation and Ostomy programs.