Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Frustrated cancer patients still waiting

Roger Sowry National Health Spokesperson

9 November 2001

Frustrated cancer patients still waiting

The Government's 'announcement' last week that it would pay for cancer patients to travel to Australia for radiation treatment is looking increasingly like it was policy made on the hoof, National's Health Spokesperson, Roger Sowry said today.

"Patients who have contacted the Minister's office have been referred to the Ministry of Health who in turn told them they would have to contact the district health board for details. Most of these boards have few if any details themselves.

"To highlight their difficulty a letter sent to the Ministry of Health by David Lamb who is the Head of Radiation Services at the Wellington Cancer Centre clearly demonstrates there is still total confusion over who is eligible.

"Dr Lamb has told the Ministry of Health that he is unable to implement the Ministry of Health's request to implement the patient selection process for treatment in Australia on the limited information he was provided by the Ministry."

Dr Lamb has also asked the Ministry of Health's chief medical adviser to withdraw and apologise for a statement that the existing clinical guidelines for post lumpectomy breast cancer treatment are that the patient should not wait more than 12 weeks for treatment following surgery. Dr Lamb states that there are no existing guidelines that state that a 12-week wait is acceptable for any patient.

"Earlier this week Annette King was unable to answer my questions in Parliament on why the Ministry of Health's chief medical advisor Colin Feek had extended the acceptable waiting time to 12 weeks. It was obvious from her response that she didn't know that her chief medical advisor referred to these new guidelines in a press release.

"It was also obvious that she hadn't taken note of a Ministry of Health briefing paper to her on this matter even though she referred me to the very same report in her response to a written question. Ignorance is no excuse for the Minister who must be on top of radiation oncology issues.

"To expect overworked Cancer Centre staff to work out the details and the fine print of this scheme in the absence of details from either Annette King or the Ministry of Health looks very much like buck-passing to me.

"The Ministry needs to urgently address important issues such as advising which patients are eligible for the available funding and identifying the patient selection criteria.

"In her two years as Minister, Annette King has only delivered growing numbers of people waiting for radiation treatment and longer waiting times," Mr Sowry said.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>

 

Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>

ALSO:

No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>

ALSO:

Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>

ALSO:

Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels