Cancer treatment delays may put patients at risk

Delays to cancer patients getting treated in time may lead to adverse health outcomes, Shadow Health Minister Vicki Dunne said.
An increasing number of palliative and radical care patients are still not being seen within the recommended times, according to government data.
In 2018-19, it’s estimated that only 70 per cent of palliative care patients, and 50 per cent of radical care patients started treatment within their recommended times. In 2012-13, they were 100 and 98 per cent respectively.
The target for both classes remains 90 per cent.
“Fighting cancer is an incredibly stressful ordeal for patients and their families,” Mrs Dunne said.
“They shouldn’t have to suffer the added stress of whether they will get treatment in time.
“My real fear is that delays to cancer treatment will lead to poor health outcomes for patients. After questioning from the Canberra Liberals in the Assembly today, Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith has agreed to investigate this.
“Ms Stephen-Smith should show positive action on this now. I look forward to seeing significant improvements to the now long-declining figures in the next 15 months leading up to the ACT election in October 2020.
“We need to ensure that all cancer patients have access to timely radiotherapy services,” Mrs Dunne said.