Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Friday 28 September 2012, 10:12AM
Media release from Royal Australian and New Zealand College
of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
As Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month comes to a close, The
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) wants to raise awareness for a coordinated
national approach to gynaecological cancer services in New Zealand,
as proposed by a recent Ministry of Health report.
Gynaecological cancers make up approximately 10 percent of all
cancers and of all cancer-related deaths in New Zealand, with
ovarian cancer the fifth most common cause of cancer mortality in
New Zealand women.
Gynaecological Oncologist, RANZCOG Fellow and Head of Department at
Christchurch Women's Hospital, Associate Professor Peter Sykes,
says current access to gynaecological cancer services varies
throughout the country and quality of services is inconsistent,
with resources unequally distributed.
"There is increasing recognition within the sector that national
coordination of gynaecological cancer services is required to
ensure all women with gynaecological cancer have equal and timely
access to appropriate multidisciplinary specialist services going
The recent Ministry of Health report It Takes Team was commissioned
to review gynaecological cancer services and provide guidance on
the most efficient and effective way to deliver high quality care
for women diagnosed with gynaecological cancer in New
Key findings from the report show that the gynaecological cancer
patient's journey is complex, often requiring multiple episodes of
care over a number of years. Women generally have better outcomes
if they are treated by a specialist gynae-oncologist and reviewed
by a multi-disciplinary team.
Challenges in gynaecological cancer care were highlighted in the
report and include disparities in access to evidence-based
multidisciplinary care, significant workforce shortages and a lack
of standardised formal referral protocols.
Speaking on behalf of the New Zealand Committee of RANZCOG, Dr John
Tait (Chair) said that committee members offer strong support for
this important work. They endorse the proposal for the
establishment of an overarching national gynaecological cancer
steering group and ultimately a regional four centre hub-and-spoke
model of care and provision.
A copy of the full report can be downloaded here.