Cancer treatments delayed due to Covid-19 – Reti

The National Party’s deputy leader says potentially hundreds of cancer patients have had procedures disrupted by Covid-19, and their lives are at risk.

Dr Shane Reti said the Ministry of Health will not say how many patients have been affected.

He has obtained numbers from four of the 20 district health boards so far, which show 85 cancer patients have had their procedures cancelled or delayed since lockdown began.

He said those people need to be prioritised urgently as the patient backlog is worked through.

“As we look to be catching up on that backlog, the cancer people actually need to be front of that queue.

“So it’s really important to know what the numbers are and know which DHBs they’re in, but that, Andrew Little thinks, is not in the public interest.”

Dr Reti said the Government was leaving people with cancer behind.

Just under 16,000 jabs stand between a district health board-wide first dose vaccination rate of at least 90 per cent in Auckland.

Yesterday, as 104 new Covid-19 cases were announced, including a first Delta case in the South Island, Auckland Metro – which covers the three district health board areas in our largest city – reached 90 per cent for first vaccinations.

That means 1,286,279 Aucklanders have now received their first Pfizer dose. Seventy-five per cent – just over 1.07 million – have received a second dose, Ministry of Health figures showed.

The figures also showed 93 per cent of the eligible population in the Auckland District Health Board area had, as of yesterday, received a first dose of the vaccine, 90 per cent in the Waitematā DHB area and 87 per cent in Counties Manukau DHB area.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Friday a new “traffic light” system to manage Covid-19 when the country’s 20 district health boards have 90 per cent of their eligible population fully vaccinated.

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