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Govt orders breast cancer patients off lists

Hon Tony Ryall
National Party Health Spokesman

8 June 2006

Govt orders breast cancer patients to be culled from waiting lists

The Government-ordered waiting list cull will now force women cancer patients needing breast reconstruction to be dumped from hospital waiting lists, says National’s Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.

Women awaiting breast reconstruction following a mastectomy are being removed from waiting lists in response to the Government edict, which has already seen 20,000 patients culled from various hospital waiting lists.

“Already, breast cancer patients in Waikato and Christchurch have been dumped, with Auckland expected shortly,” says Mr Ryall.

“The waiting list cull is completely out of control. These women are being denied what has become the accepted standard of care throughout the world.

“Who can believe that the Prime Minister is prepared to sit silently as this happens?

“Labour must withdraw its edict to cull waiting lists. The price is too high.

“Women who have had a breast removed have always been given the option of having a breast reconstruction after radiotherapy, or at some other time. Now they are losing that right as the Government forces specialists to cull them from waiting lists.

“It is likely these women will not receive a reconstruction at all.

”These are women who need to wait for a period of time after their mastectomy before having breast reconstruction. They generally have a more serious disease that requires them to have radiotherapy to the chest wall, and time is needed to allow for healing or to check that the cancer has not returned.

“Every day the waiting list crisis worsens, and the Government sits idly by as the suffering continues,” says Mr Ryall.


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