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

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election