Health Minister Tony Ryall promised a faster treatment target for all cancer patients from as early as October 1st, 2014 helping to increase survival rates.

The new 62-day target for first-time cancer treatments was announced during a visit to the Cancer Society’s Domain Lodge last week with Prime Minister John Key.

“We inherited cancer services which were failing New Zealanders. Patients were waiting months for treatment and some had to travel to Australia because of lengthy delays here".

Thankfully those days are overall patients now receive radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment within four weeks of being ready to treat.

“If your GP suspects you have cancer, you should see a cancer specialist within two weeks. Diagnostic tests and clinical investigations will be completed in a faster, more streamlined way and our goal is for patients to receive their first cancer treatment within a maximum 62 days of their original GP’s referral”

said Mr Ryall.

Currently in New Zealand around 60 per cent of patients receive their first cancer treatment within this time but the Government aims to increase this number to 90 per cent by June 2017.