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Patients Deserve Options

Patients Deserve Options

If Wellington Hospital is unable to offer cancer patients treatment within clinically acceptable guideline times it should then offer them treatment in Australia, as is happening at Hamilton and Christchurch Hospitals, ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"While it is unfortunate that the Government is not able to provide a First World service to our own citizens, the important thing is that they have access to timely treatment - even if they do have to travel to Australia to get it," Mrs Roy said.

"Work and family obligations will obviously make this a rather difficult option for some patients but, nonetheless, this choice should be made available to them.

"The success of treatment is greater when patients have radiotherapy within four weeks of surgery. To make them wait up to 12 weeks compromises the success of this treatment. Unfortunately, adequate treatment is often unavailable.

"This is because, thanks to the Labour Government's philosophical objection to private healthcare, no one in their right mind would outlay the considerable cost of the machinery required when there is no certainty of actually securing a contract," Mrs Roy said.

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