Faster Cancer Treatment

The Ministry of Health is working with the health sector to ensure patients have timely access to appointments, tests which detect cancer and cancer treatment. This work is being done by the Faster Cancer Treatment programme which aims to improve the quality and timeliness of servies for patients along the cancer pathway. The Faster Cancer Treatment programme also links with other programmes of work that will improve cancer diagnostic and treatment services.     

An overview of the national faster cancer treatment programme can be found here

Faster Cancer Treatment Indicators

The 62 day indicator - faster cancer treatment health target

From 1 October 2014 the 62 day faster cancer treatment health target replaces the shorter waits for cancer treatment health target.

The new target is that patients receive their first treatment within 62 days of being referred with a high suspicion of cancer (without a confirmed pathological diagnosis of cancer at referral) and triaged as needing to be seen within two weeks.

The 62 days is measured from receipt of the referral by the hospital to the date treatment (or other management) begins. By July 2016, 85 percent of patients meeting the criteria should commence treatment within 62 days and this increases to 90 percent by June 2017.        

The 31 day indicator

The length of time taken for patients to receive their first treatment (or other management) for cancer from date of decision-to-treat. The 31 day indicator includes all patients who receive their first cancer treatment, irrespective of how they are first referred.

DHBs have been submitting FCT data to the Ministry of Health since January 2013. From July 2014 there were changes to some of the indicators and data definitions and data is required to be submitted monthly.

Faster Cancer Treatment Indicators: Business Rules and Data Definitions 

Faster Cancer Treatment: High suspicion of cancer definitions - April 2016