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Fewer starting cancer treatment, latest statistics


Roger Sowry National Health Spokesperson

2 July 2002

Fewer starting cancer treatment - latest statistics

Fewer New Zealanders who need cancer treatment are starting treatment despite what the Ministry of Health will tell you, National Health Spokesperson Roger Sowry said today.

"Latest statistics show that 27 fewer patients started treatment in May. More cancer patients are also waiting longer than the clinical guideline time of four weeks to start treatment, up four percent to just over 43 percent.

"Consequently the number of patients starting on time has fallen nearly five percent to 56 percent.

"The Ministry of Health, on behalf of the Minister Annette King, is continuing to say the acceptable waiting time for treatment as six weeks. This is simply to make the figures look better. Doctors agree that the clinical guideline time for treatment is within four weeks.

"It is irresponsible of the Ministry to spin these figures to make the statistics look better," Mr Sowry said.

Ends


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