South Island district health boards are yet to appoint any of
the dedicated cancer care co-ordination nurses to the roles
announced in last year's budget.
Last May, Health Minister Tony Ryall announced the new
initiative for dedicated cancer nurses to co-ordinate care
and support for patients through the course of their
The initiative formed part of $33 million of new funding over
four years for better and faster cancer treatment.
Ministry of Health cancer national clinical director Dr
Andrew Simpson said through a spokeswoman that 10 district
health boards, all in the North Island, had appointed 19
Four boards had been forced to readvertise after finding no
''Given the challenge of identifying 40 specialist nurses to
fill the cancer nurse co-ordinator roles, the ministry is
happy [that health boards] are progressing this as quickly as
The roles had to be structured to complement existing
''All DHBs are putting considerable thought into how best to
structure the cancer nurse co-ordinator roles to achieve the
best outcome for their patients. This includes making
decisions around whether the role should take a generalist or
Most cancer nurse co-ordinators were expected to be placed by
the end of April.