To really understand the anguish and despair try standing in the shoes of a patient suffering a life threatening illness who the Australian "Health Bureaucracy" is knowingly denying life saving peritonectomy surgery / HIPEC within clinically recommended times.
When our fellow Australians are being left to deteriorate and perhaps die whilst those in the Australian "Health Bureaucracy" continue to argue the toss when the rest of the world has moved on and is offering this surgery as the standard treatment it becomes a Human Rights issue and not just a funding and/or capacity problem.
In the UK there are never any funding or capacity issues as this surgery is funded on a "per case" basis and is performed in 2 Special Centres, Basingstoke and Christie, to ensure the best possible outcomes for all patients. Why can't we do the same here in Australia? Let's try putting best possible patient outcomes first and medical politics second!
This surgery is now the standard treatment for our peritoneal cancers: read more http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3070715/?tool=pubmed
Peritonectomy patients should not be discriminated against and viewed as "taking up beds in ICU!" It is not our fault that we are suffering life threatening illnesses and want the best possible outcomes. Solution: more ICU beds so all patients, including trauma, peritonectomy, etc get the best possible outcomes.
REQUESTS TO STOP EXCESSIVE DELAYS for life-saving Peritonectomy (CRS) surgery / HIPEC for all Australians no matter where they live, like those inflicted on this mother of young children who left this online comment: "I was one of the lucky ones. It took 14 months from my initial operation in Perth before I was given a surgery date in Sydney. Those 14 months were gut wrenching as I had four children and my youngest was 7. I spent that time preparing my children and family for the worst. We are all Australians so access to this surgery should not be dependent on which state you live in."
Accessing life-saving surgery within clinically recommended times should not be limited by the state based delivery of health services in Australia which allows states:
1) to fix the number of life-saving peritonectomy (CRS) surgeries / HIPEC per year so as to restrict funding irrespective of demand; and
2) to stop patients accessing the state delivery of this surgery based on their postcodes unless for eg they are "assessed as eligible for the surgery" in their home states and "clinically referred" to St George Public Hospital, in NSW.
Hopefully the assessing and referring doctors know about this surgery and that it is now the standard of care in many countries for PMP, appendix cancer and peritoneal mesothelioma because of the greatly improved survival statistics compared with the old standard treatment. SURVIVAL STATISTICS Read more at: http://www.pmpcure.org/
Apart from the world class results for PMP, Professor David Morris and his team have achieved these results from CRS (peritonectomy) surgery /HIPEC performed at St George Public hospital: "...for appendiceal adenocarcinoma, there is a 60 per cent five-year survival, compared to zero per cent with standard treatment. For peritoneal mesothelioma, there is a 50 per cent five-year survival, compared to zero per cent with standard treatment. For colonic cancer, the results depend on the amount of tumour, but they now have a 60 per cent five-year survival for low-volume disease. These are world's best practice results:" https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LA20141119006?open&refNavID=undefined
Excessively long waiting times, way beyond clinically recommended times, put these patients' lives at risk.
WA and NZ patients have been refused permission to join the waiting list at St George Hospital because they don't live in NSW. Limited Numbers of Operations and Capacity Issues put patients' lives at risk so it is not just a funding issue but a human rights issue as well.
Let's hope there isn't a CAPACITY ISSUE at St George Public Hospital now that the funding has been increased for about 120 operations per year because 72 for NSW residents only was absolutely not enough to meet demand. NSW Health has announced that it intends to review the arrangements for peritonectomy / HIPEC.
What happens to patient number 121? In QLD what happens to patient number 25, 26, 27 etc?
WA restored funding for 20 peritonectomies a year from zero from Dec 2013. What happens to patient number 21, 22, 23 etc?
SA offers this treatment but how many peritonectomies are funded???
ACT, NT and Tasmania do not offer peritonectomy surgery. What happens to patients who live there?
REQUESTS We call on the NSW Health Minister, Jillian Skinner MP, the Federal Health Minister, Sussan Ley MP and all State Health Ministers to review the arrangements for the delivery of Peritonectomy Surgery / HIPEC for all Australians no matter where they live to ensure the best possible outcomes for everyone not just the lucky ones:
1. By ensuring that the review of arrangements for peritonectomy / HIPEC by NSW Health results in cancer patients in Australia getting life-saving peritonectomy surgery within clinically recommended time frames to ensure the best possible outcomes.
2. By ensuring that before a patient from Australia is refused this life-saving surgery in NSW an opinion from a "peritonectomy specialist" in Australia will be considered by the Enhanced Multi-Disciplinary Team for peritonectomy at St George Public Hospital. Currently interstate patients have to pass the very difficult hurdles of being "assessed as eligible for surgery in their home states" and being "clinically referred to St George Public Hospital" before they will be considered for this surguery in NSW.
The present criteria appear to give the interstate referring oncologists the final say as to whether patients are "assessed as eligible in their home states" for surgery and "clinically referred to St George Public Hospital."
Unfortunately, not all members of our medical profession are well informed about this surgery.
3. By reporting the waiting times for peritonectomy surgery, like for other cancer surgeries, so delays can be highlighted and fixed ASAP to ensure the best possible outcomes for all patients.
For Campaign History and Discussion of "Lives at Risk" parliamentary petition which occurred in the NSW parliament on 19.11.2014 thanks to all the petitioners who signed and collected original signatures and addresses click this link: http://livesatrisk.com.au/
Read Discussion: https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LA20141119006?open&refNavID=undefined
You can find out about what is happening to peritonectomy patients by emailing any questions to:
1. NSW Health Minister, the Hon. Jillian Skinner MP, at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
2. The Australian Health Minister, the Hon. Sussan Ley MP, at Farrer@aph.gov.au.
Patient numbers were manipulated at St George Public Hospital to fit the quota of 6 operations per month or 72 per year by:
1) making patients from NSW, like Nicole Perko, wait much longer than is clinically recommended;
2) discriminating against interstate patients, like Stacey and Lex, by ignoring cross-border arrangements and refusing to allow them to join the waiting list; and
3) denying more patients this surgery by more rigorous "careful patient selection."
THANK-YOU Dr Andrew McDonald (former Shadow Min. for Health) & Prof. Morris, a world renowned expert in peritonectomy surgery, for:
1. Informing the community in 2013 & 2014 that 72 surgeries per year in NSW was not enough. Watch here: http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/arti.../8751776/cancer-surgery-shame
This extremely complex surgery is not undertaken in any private hospitals in Australia. So having private health insurance does not help!
Australian Health Minister says there are now too many patients needing this surgery to establish a Nationally Funded Centre but that NSW Health is conducting a review of the arrangements for peritonectomy surgery / HIPEC. Read more: http://www.bjs.co.uk/details/article/6939881/Multicentre-study-of-the-learning-curve-and-surgical-performance-of-cytoreductiv.html
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