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: Salmonella and Campylobacter show significant levels of resistance to common antimicrobials in humans and animals

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google hits back at rivals with futuristic HQ plan

22 hours ago

Google unveiled plans Friday for a new campus headquarters integrating wildlife and sweeping waterways, aiming to make a big statement in Silicon Valley—which is already seeing ambitious projects from Apple ...

Recommended for you

Finding psychological insights through social media

22 hours ago

Social media has opened up a new digital world for psychology research. Four researchers will be discussing new methods of language analysis, and how social media can be leveraged to study personality, mental and physical ...

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.