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$33m invested in better cancer services

$33m invested in better cancer services

Budget 2014 will deliver an additional $32.7 million over four years to further improve cancer services and provide better support for cancer patients, Health Minister Tony Ryall says.

“This includes funding for specialist psychological staff and up to 20 cancer support workers who will ensure patients diagnosed with cancer and their families receive more support and counselling,” he says.

“Every year more than 20,000 New Zealanders are diagnosed with cancer, and this number is set to increase as our population ages.

“A cancer diagnosis brings a range of anxieties, including emotional and financial strain. We know that good psychological support can make a big difference to patients and their families.

“Budget 2014 will provide the six cancer centres with a specialist psychologist to ensure the emotional needs of cancer patients are properly assessed so patients and their families receive the support they need.

“Up to 20 cancer support workers will work in major hospitals across the country to provide counselling for patients. A national lead will also be appointed to provide overall guidance and professional support.

“We have a strong track record in providing better and faster cancer treatment services, and improving the early detection of cancer.

“Within this additional funding, we are investing an extra $8 million to further reduce waiting times for colonoscopies, which can identify if a person has cancer or pre-cancerous growths called polyps that can be removed easily.

“The new spending also includes $5.4 million for breast and cervical screening programmes, to ensure more women receive high-quality screening services. This extra funding supports the Government’s continued commitment to providing better and faster cancer diagnostic and treatment services for all New Zealanders,” Mr Ryall says.

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