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Council Will Examine Radiotherapy Concerns


Recent revelations that Canterbury District Health Board patients are not getting radiotherapy within the mandatory eight weeks as prescribed by the government, concern the Cancer Control Council of New Zealand, Chair Dame Cath Tizard says.

The council provides the Minister of Health and the cancer community with independent advice on cancer issues. One of the council’s roles is to monitor and evaluate the cancer control strategy which includes patient treatment issues. The Ministry of Health is tasked with implementing the strategy.

According to the report, commissioned by the CDHB, only 81 per cent of cancer patients get radiotherapy within the Government's mandatory eight weeks and only half of cancer patients in the upper SI get radiotherapy within a month.

“The council believes that the matters raised by the report urgently require further examination. The council will also be seeking advice from other cancer centres to find out if this is an isolated issue or if it is reflective of radiotherapy issues throughout the country.

The council will inform the Minister and the sector of its findings on this issue as soon as it has the information.


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