Wellington and Christchurch will share the treatment of child cancer patients, announced Health Minister, Tony Ryall in the Parliament today.
Canterbury and Coast district health boards signed a care agreement assuring care to child cancer patients. Under the agreement, most of the treatments for lower North Island patients would take place in Wellington. The Government also promised to co-ordinate on the issue.
The deal has affected many families in Wellington as they believe that it will continue providing them with effective cancer services in future. Children with cancer will be sent to Christchurch for intensive treatment.
Many families have voiced their concern regarding the agreement that says there will be two specialist centres – one in Christchurch, one in Auckland – with "some" care in Wellington, which would force the families to spend a lot of time away from home.
Mr. Ryall said, “There was disappointment that the document did not appear to provide sufficient support to either the agreement signed between Wellington and Christchurch, or to the families of the region around keeping and supporting services in Wellington”.
Ryall didn’t agree to discuss the requests made by the families regarding their worries, as the groups wait to hear the final say from the Ministry.