Cancer care controversy grips New Zealand

Jun 14, 2006

Many New Zealand residents suffering from skin cancers will reportedly have to wait for surgery until their tumors become larger and worsen.

The New Zealand Health Ministry's action is designed to improve nationwide medical waiting lists, but the ruling has angered both citizens and physicians.

New Zealand Plastic Surgeons Association President Colin Calcinai called for health officials to be honest about the system's limitations, saying, "It is wrong for the public to think that just because they have cancer they will get treatment."

Skin cancer patients, other than those with melanoma, are given a score of 1 to 9, depending upon severity. Previously, people scoring 7 or above qualified for surgery, but now the threshold has risen to 8, The Wellington Dominion Post reported Wednesday.

Since general practitioners only remove tumors up to category 4, patients classed as category 5 to 7 must wait for surgery until their cancer worsens.

Calcinai told the newspaper the ruling means category 5-7 patients will be sent back to their personal physician "to get God knows what."

Government officials had no comment, the Dominion Post reported.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Suicide risk falls substantially after talk therapy

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Shape of things to come in platelet mimicry

Nov 05, 2014

Artificial platelet mimics developed by a research team from Case Western Reserve University and University of California, Santa Barbara, are able to halt bleeding in mouse models 65 percent faster than nature ...

Recommended for you

Suicide risk falls substantially after talk therapy

3 hours ago

Repeat suicide attempts and deaths by suicide were roughly 25 percent lower among a group of Danish people who underwent voluntary short-term psychosocial counseling after a suicide attempt, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School ...

US looking past Ebola to prepare for next outbreak

4 hours ago

The next Ebola or the next SARS. Maybe even the next HIV. Even before the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is brought under control, U.S. public health officials are girding for the next health disaster.

Science of romantic relationships includes gene factor

12 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Adolescents worry about passing tests, winning games, lost phones, fractured bones—and whether or not they will ever really fall in love. Three Chinese researchers have focused on that ...

Health care M&A leads global deal surge

12 hours ago

In a big year for deal making, the health care industry is a standout. Large drugmakers are buying and selling businesses to control costs and deploy surplus cash. A rising stock market, tax strategies and ...

Can robots help stop the Ebola outbreak?

12 hours ago

The US military has enlisted a new germ-killing weapon in the fight against Ebola—a four-wheeled robot that can disinfect a room in minutes with pulses of ultraviolet light.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.