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Latest Radiation Oncology Treatment Waiting Times

Media Release

30 November 2001

Latest Radiation Oncology Treatment Waiting Times

The radiation treatment statistics for this last month show little change from previous months.

Ministry of Health chief medical advisor Dr Colin Feek said the situation hasn't improved but it doesn't appear to have deteriorated either.

In Wellington, a total of 23 patients had to wait longer than six weeks for radiation in October compared with 28 in September and 33 in August, Ministry of Health figures revealed today.

In Auckland, 69 patients had to wait longer than six weeks for radiation treatment in October compared with 43 in September.

A total of 579 patients began their treatment in October with 310 waiting less than four weeks for treatment, 269 waiting longer than 4 weeks for treatment and 173 waiting longer than 6 weeks.

Dr Feek said that the nine or ten additional radiotherapists beginning in Auckland in February should reduce waiting times and it was expected that the situation would then begin to improve.

"The Ministry is most grateful for the dedication shown by cancer centre staff and the understanding shown by patients," he said.

"I empathise with patients and their families whose treatment is outside the minimum standards and wish to assure the public that those patients in most urgent need are being treated quickly."

For more information contact: Hayley Brock, Media Advisor, ph: 04-496-2115 or 025 495 989 Internet address: http://www.moh.govt.nz/media.html

|---------------------------------------------------------------+-------|
|Oncology megavoltage radiation treatment waiting times as at 31|
|
| October 2001 |
|
|---------------------------------------------------------------+-------|

|-------------+--------+--------+----------+----------+----------+------+-
------|
|Raw Number of|Auckland|Waikato | Mid |Wellington|Canterbury| Otago|
Total |
|Patients | | | Central | | | |
|
|-------------+--------+--------+----------+----------+----------+------+-
------|
|Waited < | 68| 85| 36| 27| 69| 25|
310|
|4
weeks | | | | | | |
|
|-------------+--------+--------+----------+----------+----------+------+-
------|
|Waited 4-6 | 22| 18| 8| 11| 11| 26| 96|

|weeks | | | | | | | |
|-------------+--------+--------+----------+----------+----------+------+-
------|
|Waited > 6 | 69| 6| 30| 23| 37| 8|
173|
|weeks | | | | | | |
|
|-------------+--------+--------+----------+----------+----------+------+-
------|
|Total number | 159| 109| 74| 61| 117| 59|
579|
|starting | | | | | | |
|
|-------------+--------+--------+----------+----------+----------+------+-
------|
|Protocol | 33| 5| 8| 5| 5| 4|
14|
|Patients | | | | | | |
|
|-------------+--------+--------+----------+----------+----------+------+-
------|
|Percentage of| | | | | | |
|
|Patients | | | | | | |
|
|-------------+--------+--------+----------+----------+----------+------+-
------|

|% waited <4 | 42.77| 77.98| 48.65| 44.26| 58.97| 42.37|
53.54|
|
weeks | | | | | | |
|
|-------------+--------+--------+----------+----------+----------+------+-
------|

|% Waited 4-6 | 13.84| 16.51| 10.81| 18.03| 9.40| 44.07|
16.58|
|
weeks | | | | | | |
|
|-------------+--------+--------+----------+----------+----------+------+-
------|
|% Waited > 6 | 43.40| 5.50| 40.54| 37.70| 31.62| 13.56|
29.88|
|
weeks | | | | | | |
|
|-------------+--------+--------+----------+----------+----------+------+-
------|

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