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Publicity By National Helps Cancer Patients

Publicity By National Allows Cancer Patients To Get Earlier Treatment

National Health Spokesperson Roger Sowry today welcomed the Government's back down which will allow Mid Central Health cancer patients to go to Australia for radiation treatment.

"It is stretching the Government's credibility for it to claim that Mid Central Health has been denied approval to send patients to Australia because of a miscommunication. The board asked the Ministry of Health to reconsider its request to send patients to Australia in November.

"This is a serious issue. People are waiting months for treatment and it takes the DHB and the Ministry six months to decide that Mid Central patients can go to Australia for earlier treatment.

"This is another example of the Government changing its health policy on the hoof when National raises examples of people being disadvantaged. The Government makes its policy depending on the story on the front page of the newspapers.

Waikato and Auckland District Health Board's were also approved to send patients to Australia for earlier treatment after National raised the issue of upset patients waiting several months for treatment.

"This is an appalling way for the Minister to be deciding health policy but it appears this is how Annette King is running the health system.

"I encourage people who have waiting list problems to contact me because we know that if they are prepared to go public we can get some action. Waiting lists and times are still unacceptably long, well over the four-week clinical guideline time, despite the Government's promises to improve them," Mr Sowry said.

Ends

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