The Government has confirmed the continued provision of cancer services is essential. This means that patients who need treatment will get treatment.
“As we enter the lockdown and consider how people with lower immunity might be affected by treatment, there may be changes to what treatment is recommended, or how you have your appointments. Your treatment centre will contact you about how their services will be provided and any changes that might be needed,” says the Cancer Society’s Medical Director, Dr Chris Jackson.
The Cancer Society also want to reassure New Zealanders that they are available to support them as they work hard to keep cancer patients informed and supported in communities right around New Zealand.
“Most Cancer Society offices are now working remotely in line with government regulations. We have a fully staffed 0800 cancer information line (0800 226 237) that people can call and discuss any concerns or questions they may have,” says Lucy Elwood, CEO of the Cancer Society of New Zealand.
“We’re collating questions from our 0800 line and publishing them as FAQs on our website for people to access. We’re also feeding this information back to Government so they can understand what’s happening for cancer patients right now,” continues Elwood.
Each Cancer Society is working closely with their local DHB to find solutions to disrupted services. While some Cancer Society services are open and operating, those that aren’t are finding new and novel solutions for services affected, like accommodation and the volunteer driving service.
Changes and updates are happening swiftly and the Cancer Society is keeping its website and social media up-to date with the latest information. People with questions about their local services should contact their local Cancer Society on 0800 226 237.
“We understand that this is a very concerning time for people undergoing cancer treatments and their whānau,” says Elwood.
“Thanks to everyone who is working to prevent further spread of Covid-19 and our essential staff and volunteers who are supporting people in communities across the country,” concludes Elwood.