7 May 2009

Wait times for cancer treatment to be reduced

9:12 pm on 7 May 2009

The Government has issued revised health targets which include reducing waiting times for cancer treatment by up to four weeks.

Ten targets have been reduced to six, with some existing targets simplified and other new targets - such as reducing stays in emergency departments to six hours - introduced.

The volume of elective surgery will be increased by 4,000 discharges a year, up from the previous average annual increase of 1400.

Waiting times for radiation treatment will be reduced to six weeks by July 2010 and to four weeks by December 2010, down from eight weeks.

A new target is to provide 80% of hospitalised smokers with advice and help to quit by July 2010, rising to 95% by 2012.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says the revised targets are part of the Government's plan to reduce administrative monitoring and reporting requirements on district health boards by a third.