Wellington: The New Zealand government released the Cancer Action Plan for 2019-2029 on Sunday to improve cancer care and outcomes.
“Cancer touches just about every one of us at some stage in our lives. On average 66 people every day are diagnosed with cancer and they deserve world-class care,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, Xinhua news agency reported.
“We campaigned on improving cancer care and establishing a national cancer agency because after years of underfunding by the previous government our standard of care is variable and we have work to do to ensure better outcomes for Maori and Pacific people,” she added.
According to the Cancer Action Plan, New Zealand will launch a Cancer Control Agency to ensure consistent standards nationwide, while more medicines for more people will be provided through an immediate funding boost for Pharmaceutical Management Agency (PHARMAC) and faster decision making process.
Health Minister David Clark said the government has listened to calls for strong central leadership and will deliver the promised Cancer Control Agency by Dec. 1, 2019.
“An immediate priority will be establishing quality performance indicators for specific cancer types. This will mean we can measure progress towards consistent care across district health boards (DHBs).
“We are also combining the four current regional cancer control networks into a National Network to help remove regional variations in care,” Clark said.
Work on implementing the Cancer Action Plan would begin immediately, but there is an opportunity for the public and health professionals to provide feedback on the plan before it is finalised next year.