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New Zealand "isn’t treating its cancer patients fairly "

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Visiting patient advocates say New Zealand isn’t treating its cancer patients fairly

3 August 2018

One of Australia’s top oncologists, Professor John Zalcberg, will be in New Zealand next week highlighting New Zealand’s appalling cancer rates and its substandard outcomes for particular cancer patients.

He will be joined by the highly respected patient advocate, Richard Vines, who is known for successfully championing the cause for cancer patients in Australia.

Both men are Co-Chairs of the National Oncology Alliance, a multi-stakeholder collective, which has focused on finding innovative solutions in an economically responsible way, dealing with Australia's number one disease - cancer.

“New Zealand doesn’t rate itself as a poor country, yet when it comes to cancer, it is lagging well behind. The incredible delay to world class modern cancer treatments is having an impact on patient health outcomes which is deeply concerning,“ says Professor John Zalcberg.

Cancer is New Zealand’s deadliest disease and the cancer rate is 62% higher than the world average.

“Cancer treatment is improving at an astonishing rate giving real hope to all patients. Both Australia and New Zealand are falling behind and recent studies show that the lives of thousands of New Zealanders could have been saved or extended if they could access these new medicines. This isn’t fair,” says Richard Vines.

Professor John Zalcberg and Richard Vines are key speakers for the Medicines New Zealand Parliamentary Dinner next Wednesday evening, hosted by the Minister of Health, Hon. Dr David Clark.

The Chairman of Medicines New Zealand,Dr Lee Mathias is looking forward to the Dinner.

“This provides a fantastic forum for a proactive discussion about improving cancer patient outcomes in New Zealand. Our two guests have been very successful at improving the cancer discussion for patients in Australia and we feel they can provide extensive insight on this issue,” says Dr Mathias.

END

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