25 Oct 2017

'Megaclinics' planned for Dunedin urology patients

5:56 pm on 25 October 2017

The Southern District Health Board hopes to clear its backlog of patients overdue for urology assessments and procedures during two "megaclinics" at Dunedin Hospital later this year.

WATCH: John Campbell meets a Dunedin man, whose cancer spread while he waited months for surgery

The clinics, which will be held on 18-19 November and 9-10 December, are expected to host 200-300 appointments per day.

Clinicians will be offering specialist assessments, diagnostic procedures and, in some cases, surgery.

The health board's urology department is under fire and last month official information showed prostate cancer patients in the district faced a wait time of 191 days - the longest in the country.

Treatment for many Southern DHB urology patients was delayed. Inset: SDHB chief executive Chris Fleming.

Treatment for many Southern DHB urology patients was delayed. Inset: SDHB chief executive Chris Fleming. Photo: RNZ / YouTube

In July, Checkpoint with John Campbell revealed 10 prostate cancer patients at Dunedin Hospital waited up to seven months for surgery, which was meant to be happen within a month.

Southern DHB chief executive Chris Fleming said the clinics were being supported by New Zealand Urologists, which had organised for 10 additional urologists and 10 specialist nurses from around the country to support the clinics.

They would join urology staff from Southland and Dunedin, as well as anaesthetists, and administrative, sterile services and theatre staff with 14 clinic rooms operating during the clinics.

Urology Associates in Christchurch was assisting to organise the clinics.

"We appreciate the huge efforts of our staff and colleagues from around the country in enabling these clinics in the interests of our patients, as part of addressing the challenges in our urology services," Mr Fleming said.

"As well as our immediate focus on providing care for those patients who have been waiting too long, we also need to ensure the systems and resources are in place to avoid a similar waiting list developing again in the future."

Patients found to need a cystoscopy or biopsy would receive the procedure at the appointment, avoiding further waiting time.

"This is an important aspect of improving the service long-term," Mr Fleming said.

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