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Govt hiding cancer waiting time statistics

Govt hiding cancer waiting time statistics

National is demanding the Government release the latest cancer waiting times statistics after a four-month wait for the figures.

National Health Spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott said she was concerned that it was five months since the last cancer waiting time statistics were published. "I have to ask what is the Government hiding by not releasing these figures.

"Today I am writing to the Speaker of the House to have this issue addressed.

"The last statistics in August revealed large numbers of cancer patients waiting longer than recommended times for treatment, and cancer centres terribly understaffed and underesourced leading to patients waiting months instead of weeks for treatment. "The Government said that from last August it would publish the statistics on a website, instead of through monthly releases, but no statistics have been published since October. "We have been asking for the September statistics since November. This week we asked the Minister of Health's office again for the figures, and we were again referred to the website to find no updated figures there.

"Why are four months of oncology waiting times statistics, from September to December, missing?

"Hiding the facts does not change them. Patients are missing out on their window of opportunity for treatment, this affects their lives and the long-term outcome. "The Minister and the Ministry of Health must explain where these statistics are because these patients do matter. It appears the Government is now hiding the figures because they show such dangerously long waiting times," Dr Scott said.

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