Posts Tagged ‘government health priorities’

tony ryall_29MAY 16: PROSTABLOG NZ:  It may take “some weeks” before NZ’s new Minister of Health, Tony Ryall (left), can respond to the question: what’s happened to prostate cancer as a key government health priority?

That’s the advice the Minister’s secretary has for Prostablog‘s query last week about the Government’s newly announced Health Targets.

“On behalf of Hon Tony Ryall, Minister of Health, thank you for your correspondence of 12 May 2009 about prostate cancer,” she emailed. 

“The Minister has asked Ministry of Health officials to advise him on the matters you have raised.  Please be aware that due to the large volume of correspondence we receive, a personal reply to your letter may take some weeks.”

Here’s what Wellington daily newspaper the Dominion Post reported on January 17, following the paper’s early January spread on prostate cancer:

Health Minister Tony Ryall said bringing down prostate cancer rates was a priority for the Government, and signalled he could consider overhauling the current guidelines.

“There is a divergence of medical opinion on screening, but from my reading of it, there is consensus that men and their GPs should be given all the information to make their own decisions.” Discussions were planned between his office, the ministry and the Cancer Standards Institute.

On May 7, Mr Ryall announced six Health Targets:

  • shorter waiting times for emergency department treatment,
  • smoking,
  • immunisation,
  • diabetes
  • cardiovascular services,
  • reduced waiting times for critical cancer treatment and elective surgery.

He said these would replace what the new National Government inherited from the outgoing Labout Government last November:

“We have inherited a system overburdened with 13 health priorities, 61 objectives, with an additional subset of 13 health objectives; a set of 10 health targets measured through 18 indicators; 25 other indicators of DHB performance; not to mention 4 hospital benchmark indicators assessed through 15 measures; and an outcomes framework with 9 outcomes, measured against 39 headline indicators.”

Prostablog has asked him – via the Minister’s Government website email connection – to explain what happened between January 17 and May 7 that caused prostate cancer to drop off the list of priorities.

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