Manitoba cancer patients will soon have access to after-hours care.

On Monday, the province’s health minister, Theresa Oswald, announced a new clinic that will offer after-hours care and a telephone hotline to cancer patients.

"Cancer doesn’t really give a rip about what time it is," said Oswald.

Manitoban Mark Evans spoke at the announcement. He was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2008 and said he had a lot of questions throughout his treatment.

"Most of the journey is about unknown items: What is my next step? What’s surgery going to be like?" said Evans.

But he had to wait until regular business hours to get answers.

Now, the 6,000 people in the province who are diagnosed with cancer every year, like Evans, won’t have to wait.

The quick-care clinic and helpline will be staffed by specialized cancer nurses on evenings and weekends. The program aims to reduce unnecessary trips to emergency rooms.

But more importantly, Evans said, it will "remove that stress factor."

"When you’re battle cancer, it’s not only a physical battle, it’s a mental battle," said Evans.

The clinic and helpline are expected to open this fall.