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Govt Admits Cancer Treatment Under-Funded

The Government today admitted it is hugely underfunding cancer treatment by finally announcing that it intends to put more money towards radiation therapy next year, National's Health spokesman Roger Sowry said today.

"While additional money towards cancer treatment next year is welcome, the Minister should be urgently addressing the situation for people currently on waiting lists. "The Government needs to be putting extra money right now towards ensuring patients on the waiting list have access to services, even if that means flying patients to Australia.

"Roger Sowry's revelation in Parliament today that radiation waiting lists in Auckland have now blown out to between 10 and 14 weeks is more than enough evidence that the Minister should act.

"None of the hospitals have enough money without the Minister providing more immediately.

"National has released disturbing figures showing significant increases in waiting lists for urgent oncology treatment between June 2000 and January 31. The number of patients waiting for more than six weeks increased in Christchurch increased 6 to 40, in Hamilton from 6 to 29, and in Auckland from 41 to 66.


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