26 Nov 2010

Child cancer centres to be in Auckland and Christchurch only

7:18 am on 26 November 2010

A new plan says specialist child cancer services should continue to be provided from two centres only, in Auckland and Christchurch.

The national child cancer plan, issued on Thursday, also says services in other regions, such as Wellington, should be delivered through shared care arrangements involving those two centres.

Radio New Zealand's health correspondent says the plan confirms a two centre model that's existed since Wellington hospital closed its specialist service last year following the departure of specialists.

It says the closure in Wellington has boosted the total number of families having to travel from 44% to 55%, but services are still world class.

Meanwhile, specialists say plans for a joint service between Wellington and Christchurch will deliver on promises to provide most care close to patients' homes.