New cancer treatment standards may force hospitals to stop

Dozens of hospitals may stop carrying out some forms of cancer treatment next year because they no longer meet nationally-agreed quality standards, health service magazine Medisch Contact reports on Wednesday.

The standards have been drawn up by radiologists, cancer specialists and surgeons in an effort to improve treatment levels and success rates which are poor in European terms for some forms of cancer.
For example, the magazine says 53 hospitals currently do not meet the new standards for treating stomach cancer and 24 fail to meet the standards for rectal cancer.
The standards are based on waiting lists, specialist training for nursing staff and the frequency such cancers are treated.
Koos van der Hoeven, from the alliance which drew up the standards, told Medisch Contact it is not cost effective for some hospitals to offer all forms of cancer treatment.
‘If you have to invest considerable sums in treating 20 patients a year, then you may decide it is better to concentrate funds in other areas,’ he is quoted as saying.

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