Cancer waiting time target to be introduced
The Government announced last week (Jan. 18, 2012) that medical oncology would be added to the cancer waiting time targets from the middle of this year. This means all patients who need chemotherapy treatment should receive treatment within the international gold standard of four weeks.
This announcement came as part of an update to the Government’s six national health targets.
BCAC chair, Libby Burgess says “We are delighted to see the implementation of a four week target for chemotherapy. The announcement gives patients certainty that our health system will deliver timely cancer treatment and it’s reassuring to know that the government is working to ensure that New Zealanders receive world-class cancer care.”
More timely cancer treatment was one of the key issues BCAC raised with Health Minister, Tony Ryall, when they met with him in July 2011. BCAC’s representatives suggested that targets for both chemotherapy and surgery be established.
The recent introduction of a four week target for cancer radiation therapy saw encouraging improvements nationally in access to the treatment. Nearly all cancer patients who require radiotherapy now receive treatment within four weeks.