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Picking up the pieces on prostate cancer guideline

Jackie Blue MP
National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman
17 April 2008

Cancer Society to pick up the pieces on prostate cancer guidelines

The news that the Cancer Society will be taking a major role in the development of prostate cancer guidelines comes as a huge relief, says National’s Associate Health spokeswoman Jackie Blue.

“The Ministry of Health’s track record in the development of guidelines has been hopeless.

“In December 2005 we were promised that new prostate cancer guidelines would be available 'early next year' in 2006.

“When National raised the lack of promised guidelines during the 'Movember month of 2006, we were told they would be released by the end of 2006.

“Finally we just might get guidelines in time for Movember 2008, almost three years after they were promised.

“I have been concerned that the Ministry’s abject failure to progress the guidelines has been a result of entrenched old fashioned views.

“Prostate cancer groups have been extremely critical that information on the Ministry’s website has been biased.

“Until the results of two major trials on the effectiveness of population-based prostate cancer screening are available, men, their families and doctors must have accurate information in order to make an informed decision about testing.

“The irony is that making an ‘informed decision’ is a guiding principle of our health system but over the last two years or so the Ministry appears to have forgotten that.”

ENDS

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