Radiation Therapy Waiting Lists Drop
Waiting lists for radiation therapy at Christchurch hospital are coming down to the extent that the oncology department is confident they will be reduced to zero by the end of the year.
Dr Chris Wynne, the Clinical Director for Radiation Oncology, told the CDHB Board meeting this morning that there had been a significant reduction in waiting times already.
‘This is due in large measure to the dedication of staff in the department who have looked at ways in which we can reduce waiting lists.’
Dr Wynne said improved efficiencies, hard work to find creative solutions and new equipment all contributed to the pleasing result. Support from management at all levels had been crucial.
‘There are now fewer than 30 patients on the waiting list for radiation therapy who don’t have a planning appointment,’ he said. There were however still some patients who were outside the treatment guidelines but every effort was being made to further reduce the wait time.
‘We’re thrilled for the patients,’ he said. ‘It is very difficult having cancer and having to wait for treatment on top of it is extremely hard.’
Dr Wynne said the intention to reduce the waiting list to zero by the end of the year was also based on the purchase of a new linear accelerator. The equipment which will cost $3.5m will provide a more targeted treatment. It will enable more effective treatment of tumours with less radiation of healthy tissue and fewer side effects as a result.