Pensioner’s wait for cancer specialist cut

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A Mosgiel pensioner’s wait to see a bowel cancer specialist has been slashed to six weeks.

On February 20, The Star reported on a 88-year-old Mosgiel man had been given a semi-urgent priority and a 40-week wait to see a Southern District Health Board bowel cancer specialist.

The man contacted The Star last week after receiving a letter from the board he should expect to see a specialist in six weeks.

“It makes me feel a bit better,” he said. “I feel as if something is happening.”

The new estimated wait time was better than the “disturbing” 40-week wait.

His priority remained semi-urgent, he said.

The letter said waiting times had three priority statuses: “urgent” had a two-week wait, “semi-urgent” six weeks and “routine” 12 weeks.

The letter did not have a date when the Mosgiel man could see a specialist.

“They are going to let me know, I suppose,” he said.

The board did not respond to a question from The Star asking if anything had changed to result in a reduction of waiting times.