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King Responsible For Women Missing Treatment

King Responsible For Women Missing Cancer Treatment

Health Minister Annette King should approve funding for cancer patients who need treatment to go to Australia for therapy rather than leaving them sitting waiting with progressing cancer, National's Associate Health spokersperson Dr Lynda Scott said today.

"It's appalling that two Auckland women had to wait ages for treatment carrying the stress and uncertainty of cancer developing. Instead of getting radiation treatment they have had to have surgery and may lose a breast.

"Annette King must take responsibility for the horrible experience endured by them. It's shocking that cancer advanced in these women when the Minister prevented them taking an option for earlier treatment in Australia.

"Waikato Health has been flying cancer patients they can't treat on time to Brisbane for cancer treatment for some time, but Annette King turned down Auckland Hospital's request to do this.

"Auckland was refused travel and accommodation costs to patients because the Minister says they haven't met the terms of their contract. That is callous and shows the fine print of a contract is more important than patient health to this Government.

"The experience of these women raises the question of how many other cancer patients are in the same situation. Clinical guidelines state that patients should wait no longer than four weeks for treatment. In Auckland they are waiting 20 weeks.

"The Minister is underfunding cancer treatment after promising she would bring cancer waiting lists down. Auckland had a shortage of 18 radiation therapists last month, meanwhile the Government keeps demanding hospitals save money," Dr Scott said.


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