The Centre for Health Outcome Measures New Zealand (CHOMNZ) welcomes the announcement by Labour’s Andrew Little to establish a national cancer agency if elected to government. Such an agency could establish clear national pathways to support initiatives such as the Prostate Cancer Outcome Registry which is currently being established site by site across the country.
As a charitable trust, CHOMNZ was established in 2016 by a group of Urology and Radiation Oncology clinicians with the intention to measure and improve health outcomes for all new prostate cancer patients throughout New Zealand. An estimated 3000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, making it the most common and costly diagnosed male cancer in New Zealand. There are also well known variations in access to and outcomes of care both regionally and between Maori and non-Maori men. Maori men have a greater chance of dying despite their lower rates of diagnosis. Given the potential to reduce variations in access to care and dramatically improve the quality of life for men living with prostate cancer, CHOMNZ have partnered with the Movember Foundation to implement a national outcomes registry.
The Prostate Cancer Outcomes Registry Australia and New Zealand (PCOR-ANZ) aims to collect diagnostic and treatment data on every new prostate cancer diagnosis in New Zealand, and track men’s quality of life before and after treatment. In doing so, patterns and variations in outcomes can be analysed and the impact of treatment on men assessed. Clinicians will receive feedback on their patients’ outcomes and these will be benchmarked against other clinicians across the country. A quality improvement of 10-20% is expected.
CHOMNZ is working individually with district health boards and private urology clinics to implement and collect data, with the support of The Ministry of Health and relevant medical associations such as The Urological Society of New Zealand (USANZ). The establishment of a national cancer agency as suggested by Labour, could streamline the approval and implementation process to effect change more quickly.