Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Frustrated cancer patients still waiting

Roger Sowry National Health Spokesperson

9 November 2001

Frustrated cancer patients still waiting

The Government's 'announcement' last week that it would pay for cancer patients to travel to Australia for radiation treatment is looking increasingly like it was policy made on the hoof, National's Health Spokesperson, Roger Sowry said today.

"Patients who have contacted the Minister's office have been referred to the Ministry of Health who in turn told them they would have to contact the district health board for details. Most of these boards have few if any details themselves.

"To highlight their difficulty a letter sent to the Ministry of Health by David Lamb who is the Head of Radiation Services at the Wellington Cancer Centre clearly demonstrates there is still total confusion over who is eligible.

"Dr Lamb has told the Ministry of Health that he is unable to implement the Ministry of Health's request to implement the patient selection process for treatment in Australia on the limited information he was provided by the Ministry."

Dr Lamb has also asked the Ministry of Health's chief medical adviser to withdraw and apologise for a statement that the existing clinical guidelines for post lumpectomy breast cancer treatment are that the patient should not wait more than 12 weeks for treatment following surgery. Dr Lamb states that there are no existing guidelines that state that a 12-week wait is acceptable for any patient.

"Earlier this week Annette King was unable to answer my questions in Parliament on why the Ministry of Health's chief medical advisor Colin Feek had extended the acceptable waiting time to 12 weeks. It was obvious from her response that she didn't know that her chief medical advisor referred to these new guidelines in a press release.

"It was also obvious that she hadn't taken note of a Ministry of Health briefing paper to her on this matter even though she referred me to the very same report in her response to a written question. Ignorance is no excuse for the Minister who must be on top of radiation oncology issues.

"To expect overworked Cancer Centre staff to work out the details and the fine print of this scheme in the absence of details from either Annette King or the Ministry of Health looks very much like buck-passing to me.

"The Ministry needs to urgently address important issues such as advising which patients are eligible for the available funding and identifying the patient selection criteria.

"In her two years as Minister, Annette King has only delivered growing numbers of people waiting for radiation treatment and longer waiting times," Mr Sowry said.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Erebus Memorial In Parnell

Social media can be a wonderful tool for bringing people together in a common cause. It can also be a seedbed and spreader of mis-information on a community-wide scale. To which category do the protests against the siting of an Erebus memorial (to the 257 New Zealanders who died in that tragedy) in a secluded corner of a Parnell park happen to belong? IMO, it is clearly the latter, and the reasons for thinking so are explained below... More>>

 

Government: Border Exceptions Will See More Families Reunited

Hundreds more families who were separated by the border closure will be reunited under new border exceptions announced today, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. More>>

ALSO:

National: Proposed Hate Speech Laws A Step Too Far

Reports of the Government’s proposed new hate speech laws go a step too far and risk sacrificing the freedoms New Zealanders enjoy, National’s Justice spokesperson Simon Bridges says. “The reforms are supposedly including protections to every ... More>>

ALSO:

Agriculture: Government To Phase Out Live Exports By Sea

The Government has announced that the export of livestock by sea will cease following a transition period of up to two years, said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high ... More>>

ALSO:


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>

Claire Breen: ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform

Claire Breen , University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. More>>

Police: Police Accept Findings Of IPCA Report Into Photographs Taken At Checkpoint

Police accept the findings of a report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) relating to photographs taken at a checkpoint in Northland. On November 16, 2019, Police set up a checkpoint down the road from a fight night event in Ruakaka ... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels