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


Safety questions over attempts to cut waiting time

Roger Sowry National Health Spokesperson

21 November 2001

Safety questions over Minister's attempts to cut waiting times

More concentrated radiotherapy treatment is being considered for cancer patients to cut growing patient waiting times.

National's Health spokesperson Roger Sowry revealed today that the Ministry of Health has suggested that radiation oncologists consider more concentrated radiotherapy treatment as an option to reduce the number of treatments cancer patients need to increase waiting list throughput.

Waikato District Health Board's October 2001 report confirms this issue is being discussed seriously by health boards. We have been told more concentrated treatments were discussed during conference call meetings between the MOH, administrators and radiation oncologists from the six cancer treatment centres. "There is no evidence that more concentrated radiation treatment is safe and stops the reoccurrence of cancer. In fact we have been told that some oncologists opposed the suggestion because of 'late effects' ie. the treatments could damage normal tissue and nerves and that this damage could be permanent.

"Cancer patient waiting times in New Zealand have been getting worse for some time despite Annette King's pre-election promises to reduce waiting times.

"The Ministry's proposal is a politically driven response to an extremely serious blow out in waiting times for radiation treatment. Rather than being based on what is best for patients it is driven by the Minister allowing waiting times to blow out so badly she suddenly needs to deal with it.

"This proposal is not from specialist radiation oncologists who have the clinical expertise in the area, and there are serious question marks over whether or not this is a safe practice.

"This is not a time to experiment, this is a time to find the resources for cancer treatment. That is the Minister's job.

"The Minister and her Ministry must justify why they would think of bringing in this method of cancer treatment when it is not proven to be safe or in patients' best interests," Mr Sowry said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Sir Michael Cullen’s Tax Reform

To ordinary wage and salary earners who (a) watch a slice of their gross income being taxed every week via PAYE and who also (b) pay GST on every single thing they buy, there has been something quite surreal about the centre-right’s angry and anguished reactions to the Tax Working Group’s final report... More>>


89 Cents An Hour: Govt Plans Fix For Minimum Wage For People With Disabilities

IHC is delighted that the Government is looking into replacing the Minimum Wage Exemption (MWE) with a wage supplement to ensure people with disabilities are paid at least the minimum wage. More>>


Te Waihanga: New Independent Commission To Tackle Infrastructure Issues

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga – will be established as an Autonomous Crown Entity to carry out two broad functions – strategy and planning and procurement and delivery support. More>>


Auckland Action Against Poverty: Motels Profit From Housing Crisis

A single motel which charges up to $1,500 per week per room has received over $3 million worth of Government funds to provide emergency assistance, despite never having a Code Compliance Certificate – an offence under the Building Act – and receiving a series of longstanding complaints from occupants... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Alleged China Relations Crisis

If New Zealand’s relations with China are ‘deteriorating’ then you still need a microscope to detect the signs... More>>


Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>


Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>


Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>





InfoPages News Channels