Norway short of cancer specialists / News / The Foreigner

Norway short of cancer specialists. As numbers of Norwegians diagnosed with cancer increases daily, Norway needs more than 100 specialists, reports reveal. 10,500 people die of cancer in Norway annually. According to Cancer Registry of Norway (Kreftregisteret), over 60 percent of these die within one year from when they were diagnosed. “The existing doctors are good, but they are too few. It’s the waiting time from diagnosis to treatment that is the bottleneck in the system”, 32-year-old Therese-Louise Colohan Valseth said to NRK, shortly before she passed away after waiting for treatment for 10 weeks. 

norwaycancertreatment, norwaycancerspecialistshortage



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Norway short of cancer specialists

Published on Tuesday, 6th December, 2011 at 14:54 under the news category, by Ioana Dan.

As numbers of Norwegians diagnosed with cancer increases daily, Norway needs more than 100 specialists, reports reveal.

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Photo: Daisuke Horie/Flickr


10,500 people die of cancer in Norway annually. According to Cancer Registry of Norway (Kreftregisteret), over 60 percent of these die within one year from when they were diagnosed.

“The existing doctors are good, but they are too few. It’s the waiting time from diagnosis to treatment that is the bottleneck in the system”, 32-year-old Therese-Louise Colohan Valseth said to NRK, shortly before she passed away after waiting for treatment for 10 weeks. 

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg promised in his proposal earlier this year, “Patients with cancer shall not have to wait unnecessarily long for evaluation and treatment, so risking that the disease develops in the meantime. We now require that no more than 20 working days elapse between the hospital receiving a referral, performing the necessary evaluation, and commencing the first treatment.”

The government defines treatment as an operation, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy. Any variation from the deadline has to be documented in the patient’s medical journal.

Cancer specialist Andreas Stensvold, head of the Association of Norwegian Oncologists, says, “We are working 50-60 hour weeks to manage so many cancer patients as possible, but queues are still long. We should have had at least 350 oncologists (cancer doctors) in Norway, and that’s a gentle estimate.” Dr Stensvold also says numbers of cancer patients will increase in the next 20 years by 20 percent.

Deputy Minister of Health and Care Services, Robin Kåss, tells NRK, “It’s a time-consuming process training specialists. Quantity must never go affect quality”, continuing, “[but] we are aware that we need many more oncologists and pathologists in Norway, and cancer treatment is a priority area for the government.”

“We also need to get rid of bottlenecks in the system, and be more critical to how we use the specialists we have today. Cooperation between the specialist health service and local authorities must be better, for example, so that no cancer doctors are allocated to perform checks and other issues that the public health service can do just as well,” Deputy Minister Kåss declares.

11 new cancer specialists (oncologists) were trained in Norway last year. Association of Norwegian Oncologists personnel report 25-30 new oncologists are required every year to cover the need for treatment.




Published on Tuesday, 6th December, 2011 at 14:54 under the news category, by Ioana Dan.

This post has the following tags: norwaycancertreatment, norwaycancerspecialistshortage.





  
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