SDHB cancer patients waiting months for treatment + Girl claims abuse in state care

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Girl in hiding from Oranga Tamariki claims abuse in state care (New Zealand community)
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/3931...state-care

EXCERPT: Police are hunting for a 13-year-old girl who has gone into hiding from Oranga Tamariki, alleging she's been abused in state care and wants to be with her whānau.

In a video message sent to RNZ, the girl claims she has suffered ongoing abuse at the hands of state caregivers, and wants to live with her grandmother but Oranga Tamariki won't allow it. "Since 2015 my education has been very poor in Oranga Tamariki's care. I have been to school less than half the time. I have been assaulted and verbally abused by caregivers employed by Oranga Tamariki. I have now run away and I'm trying to stay with my nana but Oranga Tamariki won't allow me to be there."

[...] RNZ has asked Oranga Tamariki about the abuse allegations but it did not answer the questions. Instead, in a statement, it said many of the claims made were simply untrue, and it was worried about the girl's wellbeing. (MORE - details)



SDHB has cancer patients waiting months for treatment (New Zealand community)
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/3932...in-dunedin

EXCERPT: Southern cancer patients are waiting months longer than they should to receive potentially life-saving radiation treatment. Some patients are having to go to Christchurch for treatment, and others feel they have no choice but to pay for private treatment. "Patients are telling us that they are having to wait more than double the Ministry of Health guidelines for treatment," Cancer Society Otago-Southland division chief executive Rachael Hart said.

People were waiting up to three months to see a specialist. "The delays are causing significant distress for patients at an already stressful time ... We're concerned about the impact this is having on the course of their cancer. We are concerned that palliative patients that might be marked as low priority would be unable to receive treatment that would curb their pain and extend their life, and we are also concerned that patients with potentially curable tumours, the delay could see their cancers spread and become incurable."

The Southern District Health Board said all patients waiting for their first appointment with radiation oncologists were being told about potential delays and the options available to them. [...] The delays are because of the high number of patients and a shortage of staff.

Some patients spoken to by the Otago Daily Times have already paid for private treatment in Christchurch rather than wait. "When I said I was going to Christchurch for treatment the staff said `great, now there are only 150 people still on the waiting list'," one woman said. "I just can't get my head around that, that there are so many people waiting ... I worry that the SDHB thinks it was my choice to go to Christchurch, but I feel that I had no other choice."

[...] the SDHB was working hard to reduce waiting times for radiation oncology patients. [...] A delay could affect the benefit and outcome of treatment, so the SDHB was carefully prioritising all patients to try to minimise that risk... (MORE)

RELATED: District Health Boards (New Zealand)
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