Specialist slams Cancer Society saying Daffodil Place excessive

Terry Roberts
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Noted doctor says he has lost faith in society's provincial chapter

A top cancer specialist is raising alarms about the actions of the Canadian Cancer Society, and says he has lost faith in the people that run the not-for-profit organization in this province.

Dr. Pradip Ganguly, chief of radiation oncology with Eastern Health, believes the society has strayed from its core values by undertaking a massive project like Daffodil Place in St. John's.

Dr. Pradip Ganguly, the chief of radiation oncology with Eastern Health, is a former president of the provincial division of the Canadian Cancer Society. He is shown here in his office at the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre in St. Johns. Photo by Terry

A top cancer specialist is raising alarms about the actions of the Canadian Cancer Society, and says he has lost faith in the people that run the not-for-profit organization in this province.

Dr. Pradip Ganguly, chief of radiation oncology with Eastern Health, believes the society has strayed from its core values by undertaking a massive project like Daffodil Place in St. John's.

He describes the new 24-room hostel, which opened last summer following an extensive and high-profile fundraising campaign that resulted in more than $7 million in pledges, as a financial burden. He says it is diverting much-needed money from more important causes and needs.

"We didn't need, as a society - based on our function and our ability - we do not need such a huge place," said Ganguly, who stressed he was speaking in his capacity as a former president of the cancer society and a patient advocate.

But officials with the cancer society say they are stunned by Ganguly's rebuke, and have offered assurances that the organization is on solid ground.

Dr. Maria Mathews, the volunteer president of the board of directors, acknowledged the society is facing some financial strains, but feels they are up to the challenge.

"We think we can do it. We never would have constructed Daffodil Place if we didn't think we could do it," she said.

She also denied the society is not fulfilling its mission.

"We continue to deliver in all of those areas and support research across Canada that he alleges we have abandoned," she said.

Looking for answers

Ganguly said he has been hearing some troubling feedback from patients and others associated with the society, and wants answers about the financial health of the society, and whether it is staying within its mandate.

He's so unsettled by what he's hearing that he is unwilling to engage in any dialogue with the society on a professional level until he can be assured that matters are being addressed.

He noted that discussions will start soon on a new cancer control strategy for the province, and he wonders if the society is stable enough to be part of the process.

"Unless they can answer some of these questions, I won't be comfortable to sit down with them," he said.

Ganguly's fiery criticism of the society is outlined in a letter in today's Telegram.

In an interview Friday, he said he's not trying to undermine the society, but feels he has to speak out for cancer patients.

"We are a very small organization, serving only half a million people. One has to know how big a place you need and what can you afford without compromising the core values of the cancer society. I'm afraid that might have happened," he said.

Ganguly started asking questions in December when the society announced it was closing for 10 days during the Christmas period. Ganguly said several people told him they were "kicked out" of Daffodil Place.

A public backlash forced the society to revise its plan, and the hostel was closed for just 3 1/2 days.

"I was very unhappy with the wordings and statements I was getting from patients and families," Ganguly said.

He began asking more questions, and became more disturbed with what he was hearing about a provincial lottery undertaken by the society last year.

He described the lottery as a "financial disaster."

He said it appears the society is more interested in building an "empire" than raising money for research and education.

He's also concerned that it's shifting away from its roots as a volunteer charity, and being run more like a business.

"My objective is not to destroy or in any way embarrass, but to see the board members address these issues so that everything is aboveboard and everybody can move on with a clean slate," he said.

Lottery failure

The lottery was done in partnership with the VOCM Cares Foundation and was the society's biggest fundraising venture. It offered a grand prize of $500,000, plus other prizes.

It failed in a big way, with both charities sharing a shortfall of more than $300,000, Mathews said.

She blamed competition from similar lotteries, and the uncertainty related to the global recession. It won't happen again, she said.

"In the future, we'll be doing things we know will pay off for us," she said, referring to the Relay for Life and Daffodil Days fundraisers.

Despite the losses, she said the society's operations were never in jeopardy.

"We have backing from the national level to make sure we can continue to offer services and manage Daffodil Place," she said.

Located on Ropewalk Lane, Daffodil Place provides reduced-rate accommodations for cancer patients and their caregivers who have to travel to St. John's for treatment.

Since it opened, occupancy has hovered around 90 per cent, and the average stay has been about one month.

It will cost the society an extra $400,000 annually to operate the facility, and its success depends largely on the generosity of donors. Mathews said the society has an excellent reputation and has received exceptional support.

She doesn't believe the society has overextended itself.

"The facility is warm and welcoming. It's not luxurious," she said.

"Just about everyone who has stayed here has said this has been such a gift to them."

Mathews conceded that the board is re-evaluating the operation, including the $25 per day fee.

"We want to make sure Daffodil Place is still affordable. But we also want to make sure that it's fair and we're covering the cost of running the operation."

She also acknowledged the society is changing its focus, and is exploring new and different ways to serve the needs of cancer patients.

"We're in a new era now," she said.

troberts@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Canadian Cancer Society, VOCM Cares Foundation

Geographic location: St. John's, Canada

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Recent comments

  • Just Me
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Jan S, I guess you don't have anyone trying to survive cancer? and to others who is against daffodil place..there are alot of people outside the over pass who needs a place to stay while trying to deal with this terrible disease. who don't have any family in st john's to stay and probably can't afford the hostil or hotels to stay. people like you turn my stomach, always finding something to complain about. i rather give to daffodil or the cancer society fund rasiers than give it to a radio station fundraiser, i bet some of you don't know that these radio fundraisers don't do this for nothing,they do take a percentage. anyway, ya can't please newfoundlander, they always complain about something, so pathetic

  • Susan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Shame on you Ganguly! Shame, shame, shame!

    Obviously there is a need for Daffodil Place if their occupancy has been 90% since they opened. Where would you prefer to stay if you had to go through cancer treatment? Daffodil Place or a nasty hospital hostel that has 50 year old carpet and smells like mold? And I'm sorry, but 7 milllion isn't going to cure cancer, so why not invest in making the lives of those going through cancer a little more comfortable!!

    It's also quite interesting that Dr. Ganguly works for Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre which is probably in direct competition with the Cancer Society for donor dollars.

  • fintip
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Dr. Ganguly has dared acknowledge the elephant in the room. The worst kept dirty little secret in the world of 'not for profit' is that it's NOT! Yes, that's right, it's NOT NOT-FOR-PROFIT. Not-for-profit organizations are governed (if one can call legislation that you can run an eighteen wheeler through governance ) by regulations that prohibit the distribution of profits and limit the amount of earnings that can be carried from year to year. That is why the better heeled groups, like governments, spend like drunken sailors a month or two before the end of their fiscal year. It is also why a low profile management position with some of these organizations is a much better gig than working for a large corporation. The legislation says nothing about how much these organizations can set aside for executive pay and expenses. Indeed the whole world of charities and not-for-profits is as secretive and incestuous as a cult. Nor does the legislation stop them from setting-up businesses that compete with private enterprise. When that happens (as it does with increasing frequency) the small business guy might as well fold his tent. His competition often carries no debt (having raised its capital from donations and government grants), has a very low cost of operations (thanks again to government grants, immunity from taxes and a whole host of other goodies), and customers flock to them because it's 'for a good cause'. The not-for-profit alternative is in fact just another business model. If you're eyeing a future in small business, you might want to stop and consider the not-for-profit route. The risk of failure is considerably less, you'll have access to a ton of government money, people will feel better about buying your product or service, and you'll get to sleep nights not having to worry about meeting salary or paying the tax man. And as for not being allowed to keep your profits - well 99 percent of all small businesses never have a profit to keep. Most just manage to live off the meagre earnings it generates. As for the Cancer Society having to go into the hotel business to accommodate families of stricken relatives - it didn't. The enormous fund raising they do should more than allow them the flexibility to put those people up in local hotels and B&Bs at very attractive rates. That would allow the Cancer Society to devote their energies, as Dr. Ganguly suggests, to the business of fighting cancer. It is time the public forced their governments to take a good look at these sacred cows - the ones that have allowed people to grow rich and enjoy a spectacular lifestyle by adopting a popular cause like putting a stop to the clubbing of baby seals (no matter that it ended twenty years ago, it still rakes in hundres of millions from suckers worldwide). In fact, not-for-profits have become such a huge business that they can employ their own lobbyists and out-source their fund raising efforts (ironically) to private companies which in turn make big bucks by taking a huge share of everything they raise from their aggressive campaigns. And what makes their world go around - an extraordinarily favourable tax regime that not only makes it possible for high income earners to donate generously without any after tax cost to themselves, but allows not-for-profits to use those donations to enrich themselves personally in a way that is not possible in any other segment of the economy. One caveat. This doesn't mean there are not genuine groups out there who do fantastic work with little money and who aren't in it for the bucks. Nor does it mean that the low level staff and hard working army of volunteers don't deserve our gratitude for their thankless contributions. However, these are the very people who should be screaming the loudest for long overdue financial and admistrative reform of this vast non-business empire.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    We have backing from the national level to make sure we can continue to offer services and manage Daffodil Place,

    It's so re-assuring to know that in the end should they fail again such as is the case with their 'lotto', that we the taxpayers will foot the bill for their short-comings.


    We continue to deliver in all of those areas and support research across Canada that he alleges we have abandoned,

    Well why do they ignore the research that 'Rick Simpson' is doing in Nova Scotia' using with overwhelming results Cannabinoids, he has documented evidence that 70% of people whom were ill with cancer have been cured through the use of the 'hemp plant', yet he has a letter posted on his website from the 'Canadian Cancer Society' in response to his claim, and its just what one might expect it would be, basically passing it off as nothing.

    When will we as taxpayers stop allowing our government and media to control our lives, basing their decisions on greed, or what they 'themselves' believe is right for the whole? Censorship is a communists belief, and it has no place in a free democratic society, freedom of the press and the people should not be limited in any form if it comes from the heart.

    There is much to learn about this topic and I do not have all the answers, and I do not expect you to believe what I have to tell you, however, one can easily find out more should you take the time to research it for yourself. I think much more clarity is needed and that big drug companies should stay out of politics, lobbyists have shown in the past that they only create conflict out of their own personal interests for gain. ~Namaste~

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    It is interesting that the poster who speaks(?) for the families does not have a name. If this facility could have been built from scratch for say $3million, then another $4 million could have been used for research and assistance.

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    It is better to be treated for cancer in a cosy place than to have a cure. That is an interesting choice. I wonder if patients would make that choice.

  • k
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Andrew, You, obviously, do not know much about Dr. Ganguly. He is an amazing doctor who could be living anywhere in the world, making millions of dollars. Instead, he is living in NL and for much less than that, is helping people with cancer. Ganguly is correct in that too much money is not going into the research and cure. Daffodil Place is beautiful but have you seen the offices in that place? Go have a look and you will see that the CCS has got some pretty awesome digs. Imagine that! I foresee Daffodil Place going bankrupt because it is not being run properly. Here is my other question. If I had family living in St John's and i was getting cancer treatment, how would I be a burden to them? If I had a relative getting cancer treatment and i had a bed in my house, i certainly would want them to stay with me instead of a room in a hostel. What is the world coming to?

  • Melissa
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    To James from NL and Jan S from St. John's :

    Perhaps all the cancer patients and their families from out of town can come and stay with you guys for months on end! Would that be better??? It's not such a waste of space now is it!

    Please, grow up for god sakes!

  • Jerry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Daffodil Place and it's usefulness is completely dependent on your perspective. Don't knock it until you've tried it. The doctor above is talking about money, not cancer.

  • Judith
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Kudos to the Cancer society of NL.
    It is nothing better for patients receiving chemo to have a beautiful environment to stay, while having to go to hospital daily to be injected with toxic drugs to try to stop cancer before they stop you.
    There are different types of healing and to be in a homely, supportive, friendly environment with your loved one's around you is more healthy and healing than can be imagined.
    There is nothing better than to feel at home when you are away from your own.
    Research and education is important, but a patient's comfort and well-being is number one for positive results.
    A smile is a good tool for health also.

  • james knows
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Melissa - when the hostel at the HSC is full most of the larger hotels in st. john's designate rooms at a reduced rate that is comparable to the cost to stay at daffodil house. the 7 million + future costs to upkeep these 20 odd rooms was not required. Daffodil house was built for office space - 49%. The 51% on rooms

  • BredRightHere
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    It may seem a bit extravagent for a doctor and/or maybe even some residents of St. John's, but for those of us families living outside the city, Daffodil Place is worth every cent we can put into it.

  • NSP
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Ganguly, if you're so concerned with cancer research, tell us how much of your some odd $400,000/year salary are you contributing?

    All this lottery talk...if I'm not mistaking, the Janeway Foundation lost a fine chunk of change also. Why all this hate for the Canadian Cancer Society? Or is all this nonsense because the Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre is looking to change the publics opinion on what cancer chairty they donate to? Ganguly obviously has some motive here.

  • Anon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    donate all of the money in the world to cancer research and they wont find a cure. Not because they can't, because they don't want to. The pharmaceutical industry would be absolutely destroyed. Why else would there not be a cure for AIDS yet?

    The hell with it, poor all the money you can into daffodil place because they don't want you to have a cure.

  • Peggy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    kc, I agree.
    Sea Dog, and anyone else critizing Dr. Ganguly, I certainly hope that you don't need his services some day.

  • Hubert
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    Dr. Ganguly thinks he lives in a glass house.... We, as taxpayers and citizens of this country, do not express enough by far our disatisfaction of the facts that entire research and academic community associated with all the universities and government labs is completely self serving in their research endeavours. There is no accountability in there work. We pay every year, year after year, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of million of dollars in this big black hole called academic research, ... and we get ever so little out of it as a society !!!!! And in addition to that, they do a terrible job at instructing and teaching and transferring knowledge to our university students. They simply arent interested, clearly....

    One question to ask doctor Ganguly: What are the salary levels of people like him involved in this cancer research? Do we ever get a discount on that? I am sure we are wasting money in that area....

    He has no business in publically critisizing the Cancer Society, in my opinion.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    Some Quotes from 'Doctors'
    Google pubmed , click on first website, enter Cannabinoids Cancer ... 568 articles!

    Dr. Liu ... THC can? kill Cancer Cells
    Dr. Melamede ... Cannabinoids kill Cancer Cells
    Dr. Di Marzo ... THC exhibits anti - tumor effects on various Cancer Cell types
    Dr. Guzman ... THC can promote the autophagic death of human & mouse Cancer Cells
    Dr. Mechoulam ... we gave THC oil drops 400 times to children 1 -13 years old with Cancer & prevented vomiting & nausea 100%

  • Cassandra
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    This is only the beginning of the cancer society's problems...

  • Townie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Andrew, Shows how dirt this province is, can't even spend a petty 7mil on our CANCER PATIENTS. Too funny...

    Spending more of that on research and lab equipment seems more logical in the long run. Everyone knows it is better to treat the cause and not the symptoms.

    You make it sound as if cancer patients are the most important patients. Every Newfoundlander and Labradorian knows that our government doesn't just have $7M kicking around to donate to whatever charity/society come knocking on the door, although I am sure they would like to be able to do so.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    @ bravo doc: First off, if you were to read a book you may un-cover information regarding the Endocannabinoid system which is in all 'Human Beings', then should you wish to dig deeper instead of playing in the 'shallow' end, you will find research on 'Patents' and the 'Laws' that are in place to enforce those patents, most people know this, but tend to ignore it (ignorance is blissfulness), you cannot patent a 'Natural' plant, pharmaceutical companies know this, that is why they extract the natural 'active' ingredient (which they can also not patent) and then add to that, some chemicals that are 'laboratory tested', this way, they can patent their creation which they have conducted through experimentation. What happens next is what you see being 'advertised' on 'tell lie vision' about side-effects because they left the supporting compounds in the plant/herb and this is what brings about the side effects not including the liver killing chemicals that are in 'pharmaceutical drugs' today, just look at 'Oxycontin', or the 'Themerisol' that is included in the annual 'vaccines' they pump into peoples bodies, did you know that 'Themerisol' contains 'mercury'? Well the viles that are used to give out 'H1N1' shots are loaded with 50mcg of mercury to sustain the virus within the vaccine, yes that is right, they use 'live' virus in the vaccine, for those that did not know, now that may not seem like much, however, it does not take much at all to cause 'neuron' depletion, see the 'University of Calgary' for a video demonstration on what 'Mercury' does to the growth of neurons, it destroys the neuron, it becomes what could be referred to as 'burned' out, and can lead to all kinds of side-effects, I am no expert within this field, however, I do enjoy the study and observation of why human beings put 'chemical' and 'toxic' things into their bodies that result in dumbing themselves down, such as those listed but not limited to, see 'Fluoride' or 'Aspartame'.

    'Artificial sweeteners' are not the answer for myself, I would suggest people see the use of 'Stevia', a natural herb, which has become quite big in 'Asia' as a natural sweetener. Some more interesting things that 'pharmaceutical' companies make money from as well (artificial sweeteners), not to mention the cigarette companies, but they really lay it on thick, and now it's more obvious then ever, at one time it was not so obvious. It just shows peoples perception of what is, and it also demonstrates our ignorance or tolerance to the truth. Now, if they were to tell you that you could grow your own medicine, and it was very simple to do this, what do you think would be most peoples reaction? Would we all start making our own medicine and curing one another? Would we 'depend' on the pharmaceutical companies to do it for us? Do we 'depend' on our 'government' to do it for us? It's all about the '$$$' for the large corporations, it always comes down to the bottom line, human beings are just treated as data that is added to 'flow charts', 'graphs', and various other statistical means. Lets observe what the heck is going on here.

    @whatever bud, I can relate to his comments and beliefs, I think he is hitting the nail on the head, and should he be missing the point, then it would appear as one of two things to me. 1. Pharmaceutical companies know and do not wish to expose the truth to the rest of us, out of their greed and desire for gain. or; 2.Pharmaceutical companies have no idea, in which case why do we keep giving them money to burn with national budgets and support. It's just like the 'war on terror', 'war on drugs', 'war on poverty'....'war on cancer'. To myself it appears to be just something else they leave lying around for us to throw money at, when the cure is already out there! Its all politics on a large scale, and should one not see this, than I do not know what to tell you! Chemotherapy can not be a good experience for any human being to have to suffer, my heart goes out to those who may be suffering from an ailment or illness. May you be at peace with yourself.
    ~Joy to you All~

  • Bravo
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Dr. Ganguly should be applauded for speaking out against the CCS. As the chief radiation oncologist for NL and former president of the CCS who better to give an opinion. The money that the CCS has blown could have been used towards research, equipment and staff to actually TREAT cancer. Dr. G is an expert in this field and has save dcountless Newfoundlanders - we should be very greatful he's here in NL helping our loved ones.

  • Denise
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    I think it's great that this place was built. At least we can see what the fundraising money was used for. All the money that is actually given for research has been for what? You would think after all these years that there would be a cure.

  • Louise
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    I am a former patient of Dr. Ganguly living in Victoria BC. I will never see another oncologist or Dr. like him. He treats all of the patient, medical,emotional and the physicial needs. The Canadian Cancer Society ought to pay attention to what he is saying.
    Carry on Dr. Ganguly,you are the best.

  • Bill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Good job Dr Ganguly for having the balls to come out and say what needs to be said.

  • Christine
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    (james knows from nl writes: Melissa - when the hostel at the HSC is full most of the larger hotels in st. john's designate rooms at a reduced rate that is comparable to the cost to stay at daffodil house. the 7 million + future costs to upkeep these 20 odd rooms was not required. Daffodil house was built for office space - 49%. The 51% on rooms )

    James please say that this is not so!! If it is then I feel hoodwinked on this one! Those percentages are startling!

  • Outraged
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I am outraged and disgusted at Ganguly's comments today about Daffodil Place. If he's seriously thinking about financing for cancer services, perhaps he should donate a portion of his outrageous salary - he's certainly not complaining that he's fearful of THAT becoming a burden on the health care system. Shame on you Ganguly. Walk a mile in these cancer patient's shoes and perhaps then you'll have a different attitude.

  • Dave
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    The Williams Government had no problem at all hitching itself to the trendy cause of Daffodil Place the other year, making very visible donations to the project.

  • Andrew
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    If you think 7mil dollars will help find a 'cure for cancer', you need a reality check. It may be fine for some rich doctor to not know what it's like since he can just pay whatever for a hotel/summer home/etc. should he ever be in the position. Real people, however, need help.

    Shows how dirt this province is, can't even spend a petty 7mil on our CANCER PATIENTS.

    There's bigger problems in this province. Instead of hanging out with the telegram, he should go, you know, be a doctor.

  • Polly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    I concur with the findings of Dr. Ganguly
    regarding Daffodil Place , but am equally surprised at the timing of the release of this article , coming only one day after Peter Dawe's announcement to run for the Liberals .

  • Whatever Bud
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    My father is a cancer survivor and he would be the first to tell you that a cure will never be found because not fining a cure makesthe disease much more lucrative. Has there ever been a major disease or affliction that has been cured? I can't think of any. With today's modern technology you would think that curing diseases isn't an insurmountable task. Of course the big pharmaceutical companies are the demi-gods of the world and hold a major stake in keeping diseases managed instead of cured. Cancer.com is here to stay. Daffodil house,Easter Seals house,etc,etc are just ways for rich companies to get tax breaks,make themselves look like martyrs,while the general public pay for it. People,if you want to make a difference and feel good about yourselves,instead of giving your hard earned money to these bigwigs,go do some volunteering.It's worth more than money can buy.

  • Lloyd
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    I have no issues with the Dr's concerns but really don't understand why he wouldn't address them internally within the society. Why go public with something of the nature when it affects the emotioins of so many people? Why wasn't these issues brought forward previous to the major fund raisers and the building of the project? Why now? This is a after thought aparently and I would shutter to think it could be politically charged! Please people, we have it now, what should we do close it down after so many people raised so much money to make it a reality? Everyone though it was an excellent idea when fund raisers were seen all over to make it happen just a very short time ago! I just wonder if some of the people making negative comments gave in any way to this project?? Interesting?

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Bravo Doc. Neither malaria, TB nor polio has been cured. Smallpox is considered eradicated. With better vaccination control polio might be eradicated.

  • Sea Dog
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    The last thing we need right now in Nfld. is infighting between the very people we have to depend on to help the poor souls who are suffering from this horrid disease . Surly Ganguly's time would be better spent doing something constructive instead of tearing somethind down . Maybe its just me but it seems over the years every time i hear this mans name hes involved in some controversy or another, I'm beginning to wonder if he is the solution or just another part of the problem

  • Ise the By
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Daffodil Place is the least of the Canadian Cancer Society's problems (especially on a local level). The circumstances are quite unfortunate to say the least.

    It's nice to see someone who is brave enough to speak out what they believe in, whether you think what Dr. Pradip Ganguly is saying is correct or not, some conversation is definitely needed in health care in this province.

  • Lucy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    To start, I think Daffodil Place is a great idea. I have a relative who stayed there for a short period of time, he felt very welcome there and it was affordable.

    I don't think Dr Ganguly's point is that cancer patients DON'T need anywhere affordable to stay during treatment, I think it's more that the mandate of the Canadian Cancer Society is being compromised.

  • Jerome
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Like Polly Pickford, I too wonder too about the timing of this release.

  • KD
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    I am e mailing from outside st john`s even though we donated never did agree with the idea it would have more cost effective for the cancer society to arrange special rates at hotels for cancer patients at least they don`t close for holidays. My wife had cancer we stayed at hotels for many nights the co I work for arranged special rates it suited us just fine

  • Fay
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Troy from NS I guess you don't know how the world works or even how doctors communicate with their patients. Nothing else needs to be said. I too applaud the good doctor. Now, crawl back into your hole.

  • Jan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    I think when people donate to The Cancer Society they assume the money is going to research. The Doctor is right-This society has turned into a business empire capitalizing on our collective empathy. I was disgusted with the Daffodil Place concept from the get go.

  • Kent
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    I see some debate in the previous posts talking about donation money being better spent on a cure. Well, the fact is, most cancer donations are not spent on research, but rather replacing medical equipment such as radiation machines, diagnostic devices and providing services to patients All of which are very important to provide ongoing care to people who currently have cancer. In addition, people who have cancer need somewhere to stay while they are being treated. So cancer charities cannot pour all their money into research alone, because the simple fact is, we also have to take care of those who currently have the disease.

    As for the NL Cancer Society's spending practices Well, they are a registered charity, and as such, are obligated to provide due diligence to their Board and Revenue Canada. Any problems will come out in the wash. Furthermore, I question the economic sense of allowing multiple cancer-related charities to operate any province. It would be interesting to see how the donation dollar of these charities stacks up against their administrative costs. That is the true litmus test for a charity.

  • tom
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    If Dr. Gaguly practices medicine the way he practices diplomacy then I hope I never need his services. Try as I can, I cannot understand why he did not follow the advice of one writer and call the Society if he had concerns.
    To follow his logic we must at all cost use every dollar raised by the Society for research at the expense of everything else. Heal yourself first doctor! You have an illness that unfortunately you can`t cure yourself.
    Regrettably cancer is not restricted to people in the St.John`s region. Also regrettably we don`t have Health Sciences complexes across the island. So people from rural Nfld have to come to St. Johns to be treated and they need a place to stay. Daffodil Place fills that void.
    I encourage every person who reads this including Ganguly to visit Daffodil Place and to read the testimonials.
    Then every one of you naysayers should go there and make a donation and ask that it be used to cure your disease. What is that disease you ask...
    Ignorance

  • Disappointed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    I understand Dr. Ganguly's concerns. Daffodil Place should operate on a business plan designed to cover the costs, and the Cancer Society has to work toward the primary goals. However, the reality for many cancer patients is the stress of staying in St. John's either with family or friends, or at a hotel/hostel, often means they will opt to not receive total treatment. My aunt stayed at Daffodil Place last year and was very happy with the service. She did not want to 'burden' her relatives by staying with them, especially when she felt unwell.
    Daffodil Place could look at charging more per room, reducing the availability of food to a more reasonable amount, monitoring the number of non-patient people using the facility, etc.
    I hope there is not a huge backlash so that the people most in need come to feel guilty about using the facility. I also hope the Cancer Society uses the right people to manage this operation so it is feasible without harming the other operations. It appears this sort of controversy always comes up in NL and it is time we learned to separate our emotions from the realities of operating what is, in the end, an operation which has to have a business-based model to survive financially and operationally.

  • Eugene
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    I see at least one major flaw in Dr. Granguly's argument.

    One can not legitimately assume that the public would have voluntarily contributed 7 million without the high profile project Daffodil Place . People gave for the purpose of providing shelter for their neighbours in time of need. It is a false assumption to say that the same money would be available, if CCS did not have the Daffodil Place project.

    I do agree that the project is oversized, and probably CCS could share it with other patients such as those needing dialysis.

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    I do not truly understand the good doctors feelings on this.Having gone to Nova Scotia for treatments,this type of facility certainly eased what we were going through.It was affordable and offered all the services of a hotel but at a fraction of the cost.It was my understanding that a group of doctors had set up the building that we stayed in,it was a not for profit endeavor although the cafeteria was a bit pricey,but hey that was more than affordable with the cost of lodgings that we were provided with.The rationale was that the people staying there were patients for the doctors and therefore they received benefit from it in the big picture.Dr Ganguly is a good man and an excellent doctor,very busy I might add but I cannot see him not seeing the benefit of this facility.However he does know how many patients are coming through so maybe he is basing it on this.To me an outsider ,I am unable to see his rationale,cost should not be even a consideration.

  • WILLIAM
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    get real people

  • Troy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    I cant believe The Telegram would publish this story base on hear say and not fact. To quote Dr. Pradip Ganguly, Ive been hearing some troubling feedback from patients and others associated with the society. And he wants answers about the financial health of the society, and whether it is staying within its mandate. First off, its second hand information that he has based his stance on, Ive heard, how about Ive seen the financial statements and Ive been involved in Daffodil Place and its not staying within its mandate. How do patients know what the financial health and mandate of the society is? Is it in the welcoming package? I dont know Dr. Ganguly and hopefully never need to meet him, Im sure he is a great in what he does. I question the need to come public about this without trying to contact the society first. I dont know if he did try to contact them but if he did Im sure it would be state that I tried to contact the CCS and never got any response or an answer that was reasonable. He states, Unless they can answer some of these questions, I won't be comfortable to sit down with them, . Did he make phone calls and ask these questions to the CCS? If Dr. Ganguly is so well respected in his field, why does he need this to take this to the media to find out answers? Im sure the CCS would work openly with Dr. Ganguly to answer any concerns he would have, very unprofessional in my opinion, makes me wonder what other motive he has with this story. Peter Dawe is running for the Liberals? Hes looking to become more of a public figure? Only he knows at this point but in due time we will all know. Next off, people who wrote in the comments to bash the CCS and Daffodil Place, take a long look in the mirror, someday you or someone you know might need an organization such as this. You dont get quality people to work in these organizations without paying them on par with the private sector. Lets look at the United Way, they take your money and scrap off the top even before it makes it to the charity of your choice, anybody see any red flags there???? The Childrens Wish Foundation, do you thing all your money goes to flying junior to Disney Land? I dont think so. Dont get me wrong, I support these organizations, Ive been part of a team who raised a lot of money for these organizations for the years. I just want to point out, dont single out one without looking at the others. Nothing is prefect; just ask Danny when he gets back to Canada! I feel for any person who has to use Daffodil Place, I think there are people out there who thinks that using this place is a vacation. I feel just as bad for those people with their narrow minds. The CCS and Daffodil Place are doing great work for the people of Newfoundland, keep it up!

  • james knows
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Daffodil place is nothing more than posh office space. They put the minimum number of rooms required in order for it to remain a charitable operation. These same rooms are available in most hotels around st.john's at a rate comparible to Daffodil place. It was a misguided waste of space / monies and effort.

  • Frank M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Peculiar timing - coming out one day after Peter Dawe declares his candidacy for public office.

    Peculiar timing - that Premier Williams and his public relations staff decry public and media interest in his health matters - and then he gives an exclusive, 2-part interview on his health and future to NTV while recuperating in Florida.

    Peculiar.

    And cheap.

  • william
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    bill from cbs . i have six members of my family who have died from cancer all have lived in st johns i feel bad for those families who live outside st johns it is enough to have to deal with a member of your family with cancer do they really need to deal with the expenses of accomidations . we can all critize what DR PRADIP GANGULY has to say about daffidol place but it sure does not help people dealing with cancer

  • huh
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Polly Pickford from NL. writes: I concur with the findings of Dr. Ganguly
    regarding Daffodil Place , but am equally surprised at the timing of the release of this article , coming only one day after Peter Dawe's announcement to run for the Liberals .

    ==========================================

    You liberals are a paranoid lot. Perhaps you can persuade Meeker to go after this on his blog.....it could be a write up (parts 1 through 9) of a conspiracy by the tories to make Peter Dawe look bad prior to the bi-election, and that the good doctor is a tory dupe. I'm sure you can get Hollett and the 'Bond Papers' groupies on board to add fuel to the fire.

    You guys are a hoot.

  • Ed.
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    please post my last letter.

  • sean
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Bredrighthere......I agree with in some respects but isn't a more concerted effort by all to broaden the scope of research to continue to find a cure more important than the 24 room hostel?

  • Bravo
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    Whatever Bud - your comments are ridiculous! Many diseases have been cured - TB, Smallpox, Polio, Malaria - to name a few. Trust me, if the pharma companies could cure Cancer they certainly would... and it would be worth a fortune if they did.
    You should spend less time trying to sound smart and read a book...

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    If I'm not mistaken, about 5 years ago, there was another problem with the CCS about 5 years ago. Makes you wonder just what is going on over there if the Canadian council has to be ready to step in and cover the NL division shortfalls.

    The president of the board of directors states that they are facing financial some financial strains. I wonder how far $150,000.00 + would have gone towards easing their financial difficulties. They are reevaluating Daffodial Place less than a year after it was opened and also considering including the $25.00 per day fee. I don't think that will be to decrease it, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it go up a bit - say $5.00 or $10.00. Even a $5.00 increase is a 20% increase. I am tende to believe Dr. Ganguly version of events especially as he started questioning the CCS back in Dec./early Jan time frame and still doesn't appear to have gotten aqnswers yet. Where there's smoke, there's fire.

  • Just Me
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Jan S, I guess you don't have anyone trying to survive cancer? and to others who is against daffodil place..there are alot of people outside the over pass who needs a place to stay while trying to deal with this terrible disease. who don't have any family in st john's to stay and probably can't afford the hostil or hotels to stay. people like you turn my stomach, always finding something to complain about. i rather give to daffodil or the cancer society fund rasiers than give it to a radio station fundraiser, i bet some of you don't know that these radio fundraisers don't do this for nothing,they do take a percentage. anyway, ya can't please newfoundlander, they always complain about something, so pathetic

  • Susan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Shame on you Ganguly! Shame, shame, shame!

    Obviously there is a need for Daffodil Place if their occupancy has been 90% since they opened. Where would you prefer to stay if you had to go through cancer treatment? Daffodil Place or a nasty hospital hostel that has 50 year old carpet and smells like mold? And I'm sorry, but 7 milllion isn't going to cure cancer, so why not invest in making the lives of those going through cancer a little more comfortable!!

    It's also quite interesting that Dr. Ganguly works for Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre which is probably in direct competition with the Cancer Society for donor dollars.

  • fintip
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Dr. Ganguly has dared acknowledge the elephant in the room. The worst kept dirty little secret in the world of 'not for profit' is that it's NOT! Yes, that's right, it's NOT NOT-FOR-PROFIT. Not-for-profit organizations are governed (if one can call legislation that you can run an eighteen wheeler through governance ) by regulations that prohibit the distribution of profits and limit the amount of earnings that can be carried from year to year. That is why the better heeled groups, like governments, spend like drunken sailors a month or two before the end of their fiscal year. It is also why a low profile management position with some of these organizations is a much better gig than working for a large corporation. The legislation says nothing about how much these organizations can set aside for executive pay and expenses. Indeed the whole world of charities and not-for-profits is as secretive and incestuous as a cult. Nor does the legislation stop them from setting-up businesses that compete with private enterprise. When that happens (as it does with increasing frequency) the small business guy might as well fold his tent. His competition often carries no debt (having raised its capital from donations and government grants), has a very low cost of operations (thanks again to government grants, immunity from taxes and a whole host of other goodies), and customers flock to them because it's 'for a good cause'. The not-for-profit alternative is in fact just another business model. If you're eyeing a future in small business, you might want to stop and consider the not-for-profit route. The risk of failure is considerably less, you'll have access to a ton of government money, people will feel better about buying your product or service, and you'll get to sleep nights not having to worry about meeting salary or paying the tax man. And as for not being allowed to keep your profits - well 99 percent of all small businesses never have a profit to keep. Most just manage to live off the meagre earnings it generates. As for the Cancer Society having to go into the hotel business to accommodate families of stricken relatives - it didn't. The enormous fund raising they do should more than allow them the flexibility to put those people up in local hotels and B&Bs at very attractive rates. That would allow the Cancer Society to devote their energies, as Dr. Ganguly suggests, to the business of fighting cancer. It is time the public forced their governments to take a good look at these sacred cows - the ones that have allowed people to grow rich and enjoy a spectacular lifestyle by adopting a popular cause like putting a stop to the clubbing of baby seals (no matter that it ended twenty years ago, it still rakes in hundres of millions from suckers worldwide). In fact, not-for-profits have become such a huge business that they can employ their own lobbyists and out-source their fund raising efforts (ironically) to private companies which in turn make big bucks by taking a huge share of everything they raise from their aggressive campaigns. And what makes their world go around - an extraordinarily favourable tax regime that not only makes it possible for high income earners to donate generously without any after tax cost to themselves, but allows not-for-profits to use those donations to enrich themselves personally in a way that is not possible in any other segment of the economy. One caveat. This doesn't mean there are not genuine groups out there who do fantastic work with little money and who aren't in it for the bucks. Nor does it mean that the low level staff and hard working army of volunteers don't deserve our gratitude for their thankless contributions. However, these are the very people who should be screaming the loudest for long overdue financial and admistrative reform of this vast non-business empire.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    We have backing from the national level to make sure we can continue to offer services and manage Daffodil Place,

    It's so re-assuring to know that in the end should they fail again such as is the case with their 'lotto', that we the taxpayers will foot the bill for their short-comings.


    We continue to deliver in all of those areas and support research across Canada that he alleges we have abandoned,

    Well why do they ignore the research that 'Rick Simpson' is doing in Nova Scotia' using with overwhelming results Cannabinoids, he has documented evidence that 70% of people whom were ill with cancer have been cured through the use of the 'hemp plant', yet he has a letter posted on his website from the 'Canadian Cancer Society' in response to his claim, and its just what one might expect it would be, basically passing it off as nothing.

    When will we as taxpayers stop allowing our government and media to control our lives, basing their decisions on greed, or what they 'themselves' believe is right for the whole? Censorship is a communists belief, and it has no place in a free democratic society, freedom of the press and the people should not be limited in any form if it comes from the heart.

    There is much to learn about this topic and I do not have all the answers, and I do not expect you to believe what I have to tell you, however, one can easily find out more should you take the time to research it for yourself. I think much more clarity is needed and that big drug companies should stay out of politics, lobbyists have shown in the past that they only create conflict out of their own personal interests for gain. ~Namaste~

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    It is interesting that the poster who speaks(?) for the families does not have a name. If this facility could have been built from scratch for say $3million, then another $4 million could have been used for research and assistance.

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    It is better to be treated for cancer in a cosy place than to have a cure. That is an interesting choice. I wonder if patients would make that choice.

  • k
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Andrew, You, obviously, do not know much about Dr. Ganguly. He is an amazing doctor who could be living anywhere in the world, making millions of dollars. Instead, he is living in NL and for much less than that, is helping people with cancer. Ganguly is correct in that too much money is not going into the research and cure. Daffodil Place is beautiful but have you seen the offices in that place? Go have a look and you will see that the CCS has got some pretty awesome digs. Imagine that! I foresee Daffodil Place going bankrupt because it is not being run properly. Here is my other question. If I had family living in St John's and i was getting cancer treatment, how would I be a burden to them? If I had a relative getting cancer treatment and i had a bed in my house, i certainly would want them to stay with me instead of a room in a hostel. What is the world coming to?

  • Melissa
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    To James from NL and Jan S from St. John's :

    Perhaps all the cancer patients and their families from out of town can come and stay with you guys for months on end! Would that be better??? It's not such a waste of space now is it!

    Please, grow up for god sakes!

  • Jerry
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Daffodil Place and it's usefulness is completely dependent on your perspective. Don't knock it until you've tried it. The doctor above is talking about money, not cancer.

  • Judith
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Kudos to the Cancer society of NL.
    It is nothing better for patients receiving chemo to have a beautiful environment to stay, while having to go to hospital daily to be injected with toxic drugs to try to stop cancer before they stop you.
    There are different types of healing and to be in a homely, supportive, friendly environment with your loved one's around you is more healthy and healing than can be imagined.
    There is nothing better than to feel at home when you are away from your own.
    Research and education is important, but a patient's comfort and well-being is number one for positive results.
    A smile is a good tool for health also.

  • james knows
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    Melissa - when the hostel at the HSC is full most of the larger hotels in st. john's designate rooms at a reduced rate that is comparable to the cost to stay at daffodil house. the 7 million + future costs to upkeep these 20 odd rooms was not required. Daffodil house was built for office space - 49%. The 51% on rooms

  • BredRightHere
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    It may seem a bit extravagent for a doctor and/or maybe even some residents of St. John's, but for those of us families living outside the city, Daffodil Place is worth every cent we can put into it.

  • NSP
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    Ganguly, if you're so concerned with cancer research, tell us how much of your some odd $400,000/year salary are you contributing?

    All this lottery talk...if I'm not mistaking, the Janeway Foundation lost a fine chunk of change also. Why all this hate for the Canadian Cancer Society? Or is all this nonsense because the Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre is looking to change the publics opinion on what cancer chairty they donate to? Ganguly obviously has some motive here.

  • Anon
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    donate all of the money in the world to cancer research and they wont find a cure. Not because they can't, because they don't want to. The pharmaceutical industry would be absolutely destroyed. Why else would there not be a cure for AIDS yet?

    The hell with it, poor all the money you can into daffodil place because they don't want you to have a cure.

  • Peggy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    kc, I agree.
    Sea Dog, and anyone else critizing Dr. Ganguly, I certainly hope that you don't need his services some day.

  • Hubert
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Dr. Ganguly thinks he lives in a glass house.... We, as taxpayers and citizens of this country, do not express enough by far our disatisfaction of the facts that entire research and academic community associated with all the universities and government labs is completely self serving in their research endeavours. There is no accountability in there work. We pay every year, year after year, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of million of dollars in this big black hole called academic research, ... and we get ever so little out of it as a society !!!!! And in addition to that, they do a terrible job at instructing and teaching and transferring knowledge to our university students. They simply arent interested, clearly....

    One question to ask doctor Ganguly: What are the salary levels of people like him involved in this cancer research? Do we ever get a discount on that? I am sure we are wasting money in that area....

    He has no business in publically critisizing the Cancer Society, in my opinion.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Some Quotes from 'Doctors'
    Google pubmed , click on first website, enter Cannabinoids Cancer ... 568 articles!

    Dr. Liu ... THC can? kill Cancer Cells
    Dr. Melamede ... Cannabinoids kill Cancer Cells
    Dr. Di Marzo ... THC exhibits anti - tumor effects on various Cancer Cell types
    Dr. Guzman ... THC can promote the autophagic death of human & mouse Cancer Cells
    Dr. Mechoulam ... we gave THC oil drops 400 times to children 1 -13 years old with Cancer & prevented vomiting & nausea 100%

  • Cassandra
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    This is only the beginning of the cancer society's problems...

  • Townie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Andrew, Shows how dirt this province is, can't even spend a petty 7mil on our CANCER PATIENTS. Too funny...

    Spending more of that on research and lab equipment seems more logical in the long run. Everyone knows it is better to treat the cause and not the symptoms.

    You make it sound as if cancer patients are the most important patients. Every Newfoundlander and Labradorian knows that our government doesn't just have $7M kicking around to donate to whatever charity/society come knocking on the door, although I am sure they would like to be able to do so.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    @ bravo doc: First off, if you were to read a book you may un-cover information regarding the Endocannabinoid system which is in all 'Human Beings', then should you wish to dig deeper instead of playing in the 'shallow' end, you will find research on 'Patents' and the 'Laws' that are in place to enforce those patents, most people know this, but tend to ignore it (ignorance is blissfulness), you cannot patent a 'Natural' plant, pharmaceutical companies know this, that is why they extract the natural 'active' ingredient (which they can also not patent) and then add to that, some chemicals that are 'laboratory tested', this way, they can patent their creation which they have conducted through experimentation. What happens next is what you see being 'advertised' on 'tell lie vision' about side-effects because they left the supporting compounds in the plant/herb and this is what brings about the side effects not including the liver killing chemicals that are in 'pharmaceutical drugs' today, just look at 'Oxycontin', or the 'Themerisol' that is included in the annual 'vaccines' they pump into peoples bodies, did you know that 'Themerisol' contains 'mercury'? Well the viles that are used to give out 'H1N1' shots are loaded with 50mcg of mercury to sustain the virus within the vaccine, yes that is right, they use 'live' virus in the vaccine, for those that did not know, now that may not seem like much, however, it does not take much at all to cause 'neuron' depletion, see the 'University of Calgary' for a video demonstration on what 'Mercury' does to the growth of neurons, it destroys the neuron, it becomes what could be referred to as 'burned' out, and can lead to all kinds of side-effects, I am no expert within this field, however, I do enjoy the study and observation of why human beings put 'chemical' and 'toxic' things into their bodies that result in dumbing themselves down, such as those listed but not limited to, see 'Fluoride' or 'Aspartame'.

    'Artificial sweeteners' are not the answer for myself, I would suggest people see the use of 'Stevia', a natural herb, which has become quite big in 'Asia' as a natural sweetener. Some more interesting things that 'pharmaceutical' companies make money from as well (artificial sweeteners), not to mention the cigarette companies, but they really lay it on thick, and now it's more obvious then ever, at one time it was not so obvious. It just shows peoples perception of what is, and it also demonstrates our ignorance or tolerance to the truth. Now, if they were to tell you that you could grow your own medicine, and it was very simple to do this, what do you think would be most peoples reaction? Would we all start making our own medicine and curing one another? Would we 'depend' on the pharmaceutical companies to do it for us? Do we 'depend' on our 'government' to do it for us? It's all about the '$$$' for the large corporations, it always comes down to the bottom line, human beings are just treated as data that is added to 'flow charts', 'graphs', and various other statistical means. Lets observe what the heck is going on here.

    @whatever bud, I can relate to his comments and beliefs, I think he is hitting the nail on the head, and should he be missing the point, then it would appear as one of two things to me. 1. Pharmaceutical companies know and do not wish to expose the truth to the rest of us, out of their greed and desire for gain. or; 2.Pharmaceutical companies have no idea, in which case why do we keep giving them money to burn with national budgets and support. It's just like the 'war on terror', 'war on drugs', 'war on poverty'....'war on cancer'. To myself it appears to be just something else they leave lying around for us to throw money at, when the cure is already out there! Its all politics on a large scale, and should one not see this, than I do not know what to tell you! Chemotherapy can not be a good experience for any human being to have to suffer, my heart goes out to those who may be suffering from an ailment or illness. May you be at peace with yourself.
    ~Joy to you All~

  • Bravo
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    Dr. Ganguly should be applauded for speaking out against the CCS. As the chief radiation oncologist for NL and former president of the CCS who better to give an opinion. The money that the CCS has blown could have been used towards research, equipment and staff to actually TREAT cancer. Dr. G is an expert in this field and has save dcountless Newfoundlanders - we should be very greatful he's here in NL helping our loved ones.

  • Denise
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    I think it's great that this place was built. At least we can see what the fundraising money was used for. All the money that is actually given for research has been for what? You would think after all these years that there would be a cure.

  • Louise
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    I am a former patient of Dr. Ganguly living in Victoria BC. I will never see another oncologist or Dr. like him. He treats all of the patient, medical,emotional and the physicial needs. The Canadian Cancer Society ought to pay attention to what he is saying.
    Carry on Dr. Ganguly,you are the best.

  • Bill
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Good job Dr Ganguly for having the balls to come out and say what needs to be said.

  • Christine
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    (james knows from nl writes: Melissa - when the hostel at the HSC is full most of the larger hotels in st. john's designate rooms at a reduced rate that is comparable to the cost to stay at daffodil house. the 7 million + future costs to upkeep these 20 odd rooms was not required. Daffodil house was built for office space - 49%. The 51% on rooms )

    James please say that this is not so!! If it is then I feel hoodwinked on this one! Those percentages are startling!

  • Outraged
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    I am outraged and disgusted at Ganguly's comments today about Daffodil Place. If he's seriously thinking about financing for cancer services, perhaps he should donate a portion of his outrageous salary - he's certainly not complaining that he's fearful of THAT becoming a burden on the health care system. Shame on you Ganguly. Walk a mile in these cancer patient's shoes and perhaps then you'll have a different attitude.

  • Dave
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    The Williams Government had no problem at all hitching itself to the trendy cause of Daffodil Place the other year, making very visible donations to the project.

  • Andrew
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    If you think 7mil dollars will help find a 'cure for cancer', you need a reality check. It may be fine for some rich doctor to not know what it's like since he can just pay whatever for a hotel/summer home/etc. should he ever be in the position. Real people, however, need help.

    Shows how dirt this province is, can't even spend a petty 7mil on our CANCER PATIENTS.

    There's bigger problems in this province. Instead of hanging out with the telegram, he should go, you know, be a doctor.

  • Polly
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    I concur with the findings of Dr. Ganguly
    regarding Daffodil Place , but am equally surprised at the timing of the release of this article , coming only one day after Peter Dawe's announcement to run for the Liberals .

  • Whatever Bud
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    My father is a cancer survivor and he would be the first to tell you that a cure will never be found because not fining a cure makesthe disease much more lucrative. Has there ever been a major disease or affliction that has been cured? I can't think of any. With today's modern technology you would think that curing diseases isn't an insurmountable task. Of course the big pharmaceutical companies are the demi-gods of the world and hold a major stake in keeping diseases managed instead of cured. Cancer.com is here to stay. Daffodil house,Easter Seals house,etc,etc are just ways for rich companies to get tax breaks,make themselves look like martyrs,while the general public pay for it. People,if you want to make a difference and feel good about yourselves,instead of giving your hard earned money to these bigwigs,go do some volunteering.It's worth more than money can buy.

  • Lloyd
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    I have no issues with the Dr's concerns but really don't understand why he wouldn't address them internally within the society. Why go public with something of the nature when it affects the emotioins of so many people? Why wasn't these issues brought forward previous to the major fund raisers and the building of the project? Why now? This is a after thought aparently and I would shutter to think it could be politically charged! Please people, we have it now, what should we do close it down after so many people raised so much money to make it a reality? Everyone though it was an excellent idea when fund raisers were seen all over to make it happen just a very short time ago! I just wonder if some of the people making negative comments gave in any way to this project?? Interesting?

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Bravo Doc. Neither malaria, TB nor polio has been cured. Smallpox is considered eradicated. With better vaccination control polio might be eradicated.

  • Sea Dog
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    The last thing we need right now in Nfld. is infighting between the very people we have to depend on to help the poor souls who are suffering from this horrid disease . Surly Ganguly's time would be better spent doing something constructive instead of tearing somethind down . Maybe its just me but it seems over the years every time i hear this mans name hes involved in some controversy or another, I'm beginning to wonder if he is the solution or just another part of the problem

  • Ise the By
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Daffodil Place is the least of the Canadian Cancer Society's problems (especially on a local level). The circumstances are quite unfortunate to say the least.

    It's nice to see someone who is brave enough to speak out what they believe in, whether you think what Dr. Pradip Ganguly is saying is correct or not, some conversation is definitely needed in health care in this province.

  • Lucy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    To start, I think Daffodil Place is a great idea. I have a relative who stayed there for a short period of time, he felt very welcome there and it was affordable.

    I don't think Dr Ganguly's point is that cancer patients DON'T need anywhere affordable to stay during treatment, I think it's more that the mandate of the Canadian Cancer Society is being compromised.

  • Jerome
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Like Polly Pickford, I too wonder too about the timing of this release.

  • KD
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    I am e mailing from outside st john`s even though we donated never did agree with the idea it would have more cost effective for the cancer society to arrange special rates at hotels for cancer patients at least they don`t close for holidays. My wife had cancer we stayed at hotels for many nights the co I work for arranged special rates it suited us just fine

  • Fay
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Troy from NS I guess you don't know how the world works or even how doctors communicate with their patients. Nothing else needs to be said. I too applaud the good doctor. Now, crawl back into your hole.

  • Jan
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    I think when people donate to The Cancer Society they assume the money is going to research. The Doctor is right-This society has turned into a business empire capitalizing on our collective empathy. I was disgusted with the Daffodil Place concept from the get go.

  • Kent
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    I see some debate in the previous posts talking about donation money being better spent on a cure. Well, the fact is, most cancer donations are not spent on research, but rather replacing medical equipment such as radiation machines, diagnostic devices and providing services to patients All of which are very important to provide ongoing care to people who currently have cancer. In addition, people who have cancer need somewhere to stay while they are being treated. So cancer charities cannot pour all their money into research alone, because the simple fact is, we also have to take care of those who currently have the disease.

    As for the NL Cancer Society's spending practices Well, they are a registered charity, and as such, are obligated to provide due diligence to their Board and Revenue Canada. Any problems will come out in the wash. Furthermore, I question the economic sense of allowing multiple cancer-related charities to operate any province. It would be interesting to see how the donation dollar of these charities stacks up against their administrative costs. That is the true litmus test for a charity.

  • tom
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    If Dr. Gaguly practices medicine the way he practices diplomacy then I hope I never need his services. Try as I can, I cannot understand why he did not follow the advice of one writer and call the Society if he had concerns.
    To follow his logic we must at all cost use every dollar raised by the Society for research at the expense of everything else. Heal yourself first doctor! You have an illness that unfortunately you can`t cure yourself.
    Regrettably cancer is not restricted to people in the St.John`s region. Also regrettably we don`t have Health Sciences complexes across the island. So people from rural Nfld have to come to St. Johns to be treated and they need a place to stay. Daffodil Place fills that void.
    I encourage every person who reads this including Ganguly to visit Daffodil Place and to read the testimonials.
    Then every one of you naysayers should go there and make a donation and ask that it be used to cure your disease. What is that disease you ask...
    Ignorance

  • Disappointed
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    I understand Dr. Ganguly's concerns. Daffodil Place should operate on a business plan designed to cover the costs, and the Cancer Society has to work toward the primary goals. However, the reality for many cancer patients is the stress of staying in St. John's either with family or friends, or at a hotel/hostel, often means they will opt to not receive total treatment. My aunt stayed at Daffodil Place last year and was very happy with the service. She did not want to 'burden' her relatives by staying with them, especially when she felt unwell.
    Daffodil Place could look at charging more per room, reducing the availability of food to a more reasonable amount, monitoring the number of non-patient people using the facility, etc.
    I hope there is not a huge backlash so that the people most in need come to feel guilty about using the facility. I also hope the Cancer Society uses the right people to manage this operation so it is feasible without harming the other operations. It appears this sort of controversy always comes up in NL and it is time we learned to separate our emotions from the realities of operating what is, in the end, an operation which has to have a business-based model to survive financially and operationally.

  • Eugene
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    I see at least one major flaw in Dr. Granguly's argument.

    One can not legitimately assume that the public would have voluntarily contributed 7 million without the high profile project Daffodil Place . People gave for the purpose of providing shelter for their neighbours in time of need. It is a false assumption to say that the same money would be available, if CCS did not have the Daffodil Place project.

    I do agree that the project is oversized, and probably CCS could share it with other patients such as those needing dialysis.

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    I do not truly understand the good doctors feelings on this.Having gone to Nova Scotia for treatments,this type of facility certainly eased what we were going through.It was affordable and offered all the services of a hotel but at a fraction of the cost.It was my understanding that a group of doctors had set up the building that we stayed in,it was a not for profit endeavor although the cafeteria was a bit pricey,but hey that was more than affordable with the cost of lodgings that we were provided with.The rationale was that the people staying there were patients for the doctors and therefore they received benefit from it in the big picture.Dr Ganguly is a good man and an excellent doctor,very busy I might add but I cannot see him not seeing the benefit of this facility.However he does know how many patients are coming through so maybe he is basing it on this.To me an outsider ,I am unable to see his rationale,cost should not be even a consideration.

  • WILLIAM
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    get real people

  • Troy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    I cant believe The Telegram would publish this story base on hear say and not fact. To quote Dr. Pradip Ganguly, Ive been hearing some troubling feedback from patients and others associated with the society. And he wants answers about the financial health of the society, and whether it is staying within its mandate. First off, its second hand information that he has based his stance on, Ive heard, how about Ive seen the financial statements and Ive been involved in Daffodil Place and its not staying within its mandate. How do patients know what the financial health and mandate of the society is? Is it in the welcoming package? I dont know Dr. Ganguly and hopefully never need to meet him, Im sure he is a great in what he does. I question the need to come public about this without trying to contact the society first. I dont know if he did try to contact them but if he did Im sure it would be state that I tried to contact the CCS and never got any response or an answer that was reasonable. He states, Unless they can answer some of these questions, I won't be comfortable to sit down with them, . Did he make phone calls and ask these questions to the CCS? If Dr. Ganguly is so well respected in his field, why does he need this to take this to the media to find out answers? Im sure the CCS would work openly with Dr. Ganguly to answer any concerns he would have, very unprofessional in my opinion, makes me wonder what other motive he has with this story. Peter Dawe is running for the Liberals? Hes looking to become more of a public figure? Only he knows at this point but in due time we will all know. Next off, people who wrote in the comments to bash the CCS and Daffodil Place, take a long look in the mirror, someday you or someone you know might need an organization such as this. You dont get quality people to work in these organizations without paying them on par with the private sector. Lets look at the United Way, they take your money and scrap off the top even before it makes it to the charity of your choice, anybody see any red flags there???? The Childrens Wish Foundation, do you thing all your money goes to flying junior to Disney Land? I dont think so. Dont get me wrong, I support these organizations, Ive been part of a team who raised a lot of money for these organizations for the years. I just want to point out, dont single out one without looking at the others. Nothing is prefect; just ask Danny when he gets back to Canada! I feel for any person who has to use Daffodil Place, I think there are people out there who thinks that using this place is a vacation. I feel just as bad for those people with their narrow minds. The CCS and Daffodil Place are doing great work for the people of Newfoundland, keep it up!

  • james knows
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Daffodil place is nothing more than posh office space. They put the minimum number of rooms required in order for it to remain a charitable operation. These same rooms are available in most hotels around st.john's at a rate comparible to Daffodil place. It was a misguided waste of space / monies and effort.

  • Frank M
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Peculiar timing - coming out one day after Peter Dawe declares his candidacy for public office.

    Peculiar timing - that Premier Williams and his public relations staff decry public and media interest in his health matters - and then he gives an exclusive, 2-part interview on his health and future to NTV while recuperating in Florida.

    Peculiar.

    And cheap.

  • william
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    bill from cbs . i have six members of my family who have died from cancer all have lived in st johns i feel bad for those families who live outside st johns it is enough to have to deal with a member of your family with cancer do they really need to deal with the expenses of accomidations . we can all critize what DR PRADIP GANGULY has to say about daffidol place but it sure does not help people dealing with cancer

  • huh
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Polly Pickford from NL. writes: I concur with the findings of Dr. Ganguly
    regarding Daffodil Place , but am equally surprised at the timing of the release of this article , coming only one day after Peter Dawe's announcement to run for the Liberals .

    ==========================================

    You liberals are a paranoid lot. Perhaps you can persuade Meeker to go after this on his blog.....it could be a write up (parts 1 through 9) of a conspiracy by the tories to make Peter Dawe look bad prior to the bi-election, and that the good doctor is a tory dupe. I'm sure you can get Hollett and the 'Bond Papers' groupies on board to add fuel to the fire.

    You guys are a hoot.

  • Ed.
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    please post my last letter.

  • sean
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Bredrighthere......I agree with in some respects but isn't a more concerted effort by all to broaden the scope of research to continue to find a cure more important than the 24 room hostel?

  • Bravo
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    Whatever Bud - your comments are ridiculous! Many diseases have been cured - TB, Smallpox, Polio, Malaria - to name a few. Trust me, if the pharma companies could cure Cancer they certainly would... and it would be worth a fortune if they did.
    You should spend less time trying to sound smart and read a book...

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    If I'm not mistaken, about 5 years ago, there was another problem with the CCS about 5 years ago. Makes you wonder just what is going on over there if the Canadian council has to be ready to step in and cover the NL division shortfalls.

    The president of the board of directors states that they are facing financial some financial strains. I wonder how far $150,000.00 + would have gone towards easing their financial difficulties. They are reevaluating Daffodial Place less than a year after it was opened and also considering including the $25.00 per day fee. I don't think that will be to decrease it, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it go up a bit - say $5.00 or $10.00. Even a $5.00 increase is a 20% increase. I am tende to believe Dr. Ganguly version of events especially as he started questioning the CCS back in Dec./early Jan time frame and still doesn't appear to have gotten aqnswers yet. Where there's smoke, there's fire.