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Cancer waiting times getting better and better

18 November 2007

Cancer waiting times getting better and better.

Ninety seven percent of patients referred for radiation treatment are now receiving treatment within eight weeks and 80 percent are receiving it within four weeks.

Health Minister David Cunliffe said the Ministry of Health, DHBs and cancer professionals were working closely together to meet and go beyond the waiting times target.

“Judging by recent results these efforts are benefiting patients,” Mr Cunliffe said.

Since April of this year there has been a 15 percent improvement in the number of patients receiving radiation treatment within four weeks.

Mr Cunliffe said he was aware there still a great deal more work to be regarding cancer treatment services in New Zealand.

“Capital and Coast DHB are working to resolve their issues around paediatric oncology and the decision to work closely with Canterbury DHB can only be good news for patients and clinicians.”

Mr Cunliffe also recognised the efforts of Mid-Central DHB in working with another cancer provider and offering patients the chance to have treatment in Australia in order to have patients seen within recommended timeframes.

“Its seems rather than spreading false hope it is Jackie Blue that has been caught spreading false doom and gloom in an effort gain political points.”

“Meanwhile clinicians, the Ministry and DHBs have been quietly getting on with improving cancer services by building on existing infrastructure, developing the workforce and improving patient management systems.”

ENDS

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