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Lessons Reduced Radiation Therapy Waiting Times

“Lessons In Reduced Waiting Times For Radiation Therapy”

“The reduced waiting times for patients requiring radiation therapy is good news but there are also important lessons we all need to learn from,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was responding to the reduced waiting times for regional radiation therapy service based in Wellington and covering the region from Hawkes Bay to Nelson and Marlborough.

“Much of the cause of the unacceptably long waiting times is due to the unfortunate failed business experiment of the 1990s in which public hospitals were forced to function unnaturally as commercial businesses. This led to a serious neglect of workforce planning and a denigration of health professionals who became a balance sheet liability.”

“Having safe waiting times that are sustainable requires a longer term workforce planning strategy that includes adequate training numbers and improved employment conditions in order to be competitive in an aggressive international labour market. To its credit the Labour-Progressive government has made good moves in this direction but more work is still required to ensure that waiting times are at an acceptable level.”

“Never again should our health system be experimented with in the way it was during the 1990s,” concluded Mr Powell.

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