With Central North Island district health boards' (DHB) long running disagreement over the funding of the brachytherapy machine in Wellington , cervical cancer patients here are forced to travel to Christchurch for specialist treatment.
The machine was to be used in the treatment of cervical and other gynecological cancers and was proposed to be ready by the following month. However it has still not been ordered because the DHB wants other DHBs to share the cost of running it.
Gynaecological cancer specialist, Dynes McConnell has said that the cancer services at Capital and Coast District Health Board were inadequate without the machine. And while the management agreed to the importance of the machine, the whole project seems to be held up as DHBs quibble over who will pay the bills.
In all likelihood cervical cancer patients in the lower North Island will probably be sent to Christchurch for treatment for at least another six months even if a decision is on funding was made next week.
Hospital radiation service head, David Lamb said that the issue has resulted in a dramatic loss of morale in the radiation department.