Radiation machine needed in Gisborne

THE Government’s move to spend $25 million on 12 new radiation machines has been supported by those active in Tairawhiti cancer circles, but hope remains that the district will gain further benefit when an Interim Cancer Action Plan is launched later this month.

Julie Robinson, of the Gisborne branch of Patient Voice Aotearoa, said the announcement was a step in the right direction.

“But I personally think more could be done to address inequity of care within the regions.

“Gisborne is quite disadvantaged along with many other regional areas such as Southland.

“Yet this latest announcement hasn’t really done anything to address these inequalities.

“Hopefully we will see something more advantageous for places like Gisborne when their plan is rolled out in its entirety.

The new linear accelerator machines will replace older ones in places such as Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki and Northland.

Five of the new machines will be rolled out by the end of the year with Auckland, Canterbury, and Capital and Coast district health boards each getting one, with Palmerston North to get two.

Machines will later go to Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki while five others will be spread across the country’s health boards at as yet unnamed locations.

Lung Foundation New Zealand chief executive Philip Hope said although the news was encouraging, he would have liked to see Tairawhiti get a new machine.

Liane Jenkins, of Gisborne-East Coast Cancer Society, said strong central leadership and a national approach to cancer was something the Cancer Society has been calling for.

“This announcement is a step in the right direction to ensure New Zealanders have fair access to cancer treatment no matter who they are and where they live.”

Cancer Society medical director Dr Chris Jackson said new linear accelerator radiation machines would provide improved treatment in more regions and fairer access to cancer care across New Zealand.

“Radiation treatment is under-utilised in New Zealand and putting these machines in the regions means more people get better access to treatment closer to their homes and families.

“While infrastructure is only one part of the cancer programme, it’s great to see the machines going where they are needed the most.

“These will reduce wait times and improve outcomes for people needing treatment.

“We know there has been expert consultation and sector engagement prior to this announcement, which we support,” he said.

“We’re eagerly awaiting the full plan as we work towards better cancer outcomes for all New Zealanders.”

Linear accelerators are used to deliver external beam radiation treatments to cancer patients.

They can provide individualised treatments based on a patient’s specific needs and are operated by radiation therapists.

THE Government’s move to spend $25 million on 12 new radiation machines has been supported by those active in Tairawhiti cancer circles, but hope remains that the district will gain further benefit when an Interim Cancer Action Plan is launched later this month.

Julie Robinson, of the Gisborne branch of Patient Voice Aotearoa, said the announcement was a step in the right direction.

“But I personally think more could be done to address inequity of care within the regions.

“Gisborne is quite disadvantaged along with many other regional areas such as Southland.

“Yet this latest announcement hasn’t really done anything to address these inequalities.

“Hopefully we will see something more advantageous for places like Gisborne when their plan is rolled out in its entirety.

The new linear accelerator machines will replace older ones in places such as Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki and Northland.

Five of the new machines will be rolled out by the end of the year with Auckland, Canterbury, and Capital and Coast district health boards each getting one, with Palmerston North to get two.

Machines will later go to Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki while five others will be spread across the country’s health boards at as yet unnamed locations.

Lung Foundation New Zealand chief executive Philip Hope said although the news was encouraging, he would have liked to see Tairawhiti get a new machine.

Liane Jenkins, of Gisborne-East Coast Cancer Society, said strong central leadership and a national approach to cancer was something the Cancer Society has been calling for.

“This announcement is a step in the right direction to ensure New Zealanders have fair access to cancer treatment no matter who they are and where they live.”

Cancer Society medical director Dr Chris Jackson said new linear accelerator radiation machines would provide improved treatment in more regions and fairer access to cancer care across New Zealand.

“Radiation treatment is under-utilised in New Zealand and putting these machines in the regions means more people get better access to treatment closer to their homes and families.

“While infrastructure is only one part of the cancer programme, it’s great to see the machines going where they are needed the most.

“These will reduce wait times and improve outcomes for people needing treatment.

“We know there has been expert consultation and sector engagement prior to this announcement, which we support,” he said.

“We’re eagerly awaiting the full plan as we work towards better cancer outcomes for all New Zealanders.”

Linear accelerators are used to deliver external beam radiation treatments to cancer patients.

They can provide individualised treatments based on a patient’s specific needs and are operated by radiation therapists.

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