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


Cancer treatment delays increasing

Hon Tony Ryall
National Party Health Spokesman

14 November 2006

Cancer treatment delays increasing

Cancer patients are facing longer and longer delays to begin radiation treatment, according to figures released by the National Party.

National’s Health spokesman, Tony Ryall, is calling on hospitals to offer more cancer patients treatment in Australia if they cannot treat them quickly enough here.

According to Ministry of Health information compiled by the National Party, cancer patients’ waiting times for radiation therapy have seriously worsened this year, with every likelihood that delays will get even longer.

“The number of patients waiting more than eight weeks to begin radiation treatment is now at its highest level since the 2004 cancer treatment crisis. And the proportion of all cancer patients now waiting more than eight weeks is growing dramatically too,” says Mr Ryall.

“Cancer patients will face even greater delays as industrial action continues and the Government ignores the problem. We've spoken with one patient in the Lower North Island who was told this week she would start radiation treatment in mid-February – that’s 14 weeks away.

“Some patients are resorting to surgery rather than face such long, uncertain and worrying delays.

“More and more cancer patients are facing this situation. All patients facing these unacceptable delays should have the option of going to Australia. The offer should be made now to allow patients to plan for Christmas.

“Health Minister Pete Hodgson should also be sorting out the industrial action he so readily blames for these delays.”

Mr Ryall has released a table of Ministry of Health information which shows a big increase in cancer patients facing radiation delays of more than eight weeks, both in raw numbers and as a proportion of total patients wanting radiation treatment.


Attached: Table – National Category C Waiting Times. Note: Category C includes patients with breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Oncology Waiting Times
National Category C Waiting Times

Month / Category C Waiting Times > 8 Weeks / Category C Waiting Total / Proportion
Mar-04 59 530 11.13%
Apr-04 43 418 10.29%
May-04 43 462 9.31%
Jun-04 30 402 7.46%
Jul-04 22 136 16.18%
Aug-04 22 136 16.18%
Sep-04 38 437 8.70%
Oct-04 22 136 16.18%
Nov-04 21 458 4.59%
Dec-04 37 454 8.15%
Jan-05 22 400 5.50%
Feb-05 13 485 2.68%
Mar-05 6 480 1.25%
Apr-05 6 465 1.29%
May-05 10 501 2.00%
Jun-05 11 502 2.19%
Jul-05 6 435 1.38%
Aug-05 7 451 1.55%
Sep-05 6 503 1.19%
Oct-05 10 431 2.32%
Nov-05 5 409 1.22%
Dec-05 3 470 0.64%
Jan-06 22 136 16.18%
Feb-06 21 460 4.57%
Mar-06 12 478 2.51%
Apr-06 17 405 4.20%
May-06 20 496 4.03%
Jun-06 24 380 6.32%
Jul-06 37 425 8.71%
Aug-06 48 486 9.88%

Source: Cancer Control Waiting Times Data - MOH website
Category C includes patients with breast cancer and prostate cancer.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Why We’re Not Getting An Inquiry Into The White Island Disaster

The Ardern government has made an art form out of reviews and inquiries- when to hold them, when to fold them, and when to shelve the findings, virtually untouched. Among other things, the WorkSafe criminal proceedings into the Whakaari /White Island disaster look like the outcome of a conscious political strategy. The government is choosing this route instead holding a proper inquiry, because it can conveniently narrow the focus only to (a) the events prior to the eruption and (b) solely to possible violations of our labour laws... More>>


UN SDG: A Greener, Cleaner, Brighter Future

'The world has a high fever and is burning up. Climate disruption is daily news – from devastating wildfires to record floods. The damage to people and the environment is immense and growing.' - UN Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>


Carbon Neutral Policy: Gov Declares Climate Emergency

The Government has launched a major new initiative to combat climate change that will require the public sector to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. More>>


Pill Testing: Govt Moves On Drug Checking To Keep Young New Zealanders Safer This Summer

The Government will pass time limited legislation to give legal certainty to drug checking services, so they can carry out their work to keep New Zealanders safer this summer at festivals without fear of prosecution, Health Minister Andrew Little ... More>>


Tax: Government Fulfils Election Undertaking On New Top Tax Rate

The Government will today keep its election promise to put in place a new top tax rate of 39 per cent on income earned over $180,000. More>>


Media: Stuff Holds Itself Accountable For Wrongs To Māori

Stuff has today published the results of an investigation into itself, and issued a public apology, for the way the media organisation has portrayed Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, from its first editions to now. Tā Mātou Pono | More>>


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels