24 Nov 2010

Auckland, Christchurch to be specialist child cancer hubs

7:40 pm on 24 November 2010

The Government is poised to announce that Auckland and Christchurch will be the hubs for specialist child cancer services for the whole country.

There is continuing doubt among parents of children with cancer in Wellington about a rescue plan for the services in the capital.

Capital and Coast and Canterbury district health boards signed an agreement in September guaranteeing to share child cancer care, and many services are still being delivered in Wellington.

That deal is said to have gone ahead, but the Government this week said child cancer services will be coordinated nationally.

Officials will not comment, but say the announcement will focus on having tertiary centres only in Auckland and Christchurch.

They say the deal with Wellington is not affected, but families in Wellington say that is not what they have been told. They believe fewer procedures will be carried out in Wellington in future and families will continue having to travel for much of their care.