Pensioner’s wait for cancer specialist cut

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files

A Mosgiel pensioner’s wait to see a bowel cancer specialist has been slashed to six weeks.

On February 20, The Star reported on a 88-year-old Mosgiel man had been given a semi-urgent priority and a 40-week wait to see a Southern District Health Board bowel cancer specialist.

The man contacted The Star last week after receiving a letter from the board - dated February 24 - saying he should expect to see a specialist in six weeks.

‘‘It makes me feel a bit better,’’ he said. ‘‘I feel as if something is happening.’’

The new estimated wait time was better than the ‘‘disturbing’’40-week wait.

His priority remained semi-urgent, he said.

The letter said waiting times had three priority statuses: ‘‘urgent’’ had a two-week wait, ‘‘semi-urgent’’ six weeks and ‘‘routine’’ 12 weeks.

The letter did not have a date when the Mosgiel man could see a specialist.

‘‘They are going to let me know, I suppose,’’ he said.

The board did not respond to a question from The Star asking if anything had changed to result in a reduction of waiting times.

SHAWN.MCAVINUE@thestar.co.nz

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