News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

All New Zealanders To Have Same Cancer Drugs

ALL New Zealanders will be entitled to the same cancer drugs and other non-surgical cancer services irrespective of where they live, the Ministry of Health says.

Non-surgical cancer treatments are radiation oncology (radiotherapy), medical oncology and haematology (chemotherapy).

"For some time we have been aware that there are discrepancies in some parts of the country as to what medicines are provided free of charge. However we believe as a matter of principle that access to the most appropriate medicines should be equitable across the country," Chief Medical Advisor Dr Colin Feek said.

The change is one of the recommendations in a report to the Ministry of Health on improving cancer services in New Zealand. Covering all aspects of treatment for cancer patients - with the exception of surgery - it mandates a number of changes to ensure equity of access.

"It is essential that cancer treatment services are structured in such as way that all patients, irrespective of where they live, can expect to be assessed by a specialist oncologist and to have access to all appropriate treatments," Dr Feek said.

"This should be as close to the patient's home as practicable."

The report draws on the work of three specialist working parties who reviewed radiation oncology, medical oncology and haematology. It also took into account the palliative care strategy made public in February this year.

It recommends that New Zealand should retain six regional cancer centres providing non-surgical cancer care in the main centres, working closely together and overseeing treatment in designated secondary care hospitals.

Regional cancer centres should also take an active role in co-ordinating care with the primary and secondary services which provide other aspects of cancer management.

Dr Feek said a single working party drawn from the three review groups would now oversee a five-year plan identifying the requirements for reliable, equitable and clinically acceptable access to cancer treatment services.

"Ensuring equity of access is the first step. Beyond that we need a process for evaluating and introducing new cancer drugs, treatments and technologies within the public health system, we need better information, we need to look at research and clearly we need to address staffing issues."

To complement this work the Ministry of Health is also planning a review of surgical services for people with cancer, working with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>


Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland