15 May 2012

Extra funding for cancer treatment welcomed

6:25 am on 15 May 2012

Cancer patients and their doctors say a move by the Government to provide extra funding to improve treatment and care is good news.

The Government outlined the measures in a pre-Budget health announcement at Wellington Regional Hospital on Monday.

In a pre-Budget announcement on Monday, Prime Minister John Key and Health Minister Tony Ryall detailed a funding boost of $97 million over the next four years for improvements in cancer treatment.

Most of that is to provide more elective surgery and better and faster services for cancer patients, including dedicated nurses to coordinate care.

Mr Ryall says it will ensure that cancer treatment is as fast in New Zealand as anywhere in the world.

Part of the funding will provide between 40 and 50 senior nurses to help coordinate care for patients nationwide and Cancer Society chief executive Dalton Kelly says that is needed.

"A single point of contact for somebody with cancer will really assist those people and their families. It's very, very good news."

The Cancer Society says from the time cancer is suspected, there will be faster access to a specialist and to any treatment needed.

The Medical Association says it is pleasing to see the commitment to improving health services at a time of financial constraint.

Meanwhile, the Government says another $4 million will go towards a national register of patients treated for heart conditions.

The Budget will be delivered on 24 May.