Governance and advisory arrangements for cancer in New Zealand

We need robust leadership and collaboration across the sector to deliver high-quality cancer services.

This means good clinical governance and advisory arrangements to support the work of clinicians, nurses, support people and all those who deliver treatment and care to people with cancer, as well as strong relationships between the Ministry, DHBs, networks, non-governmental and consumer organisations, and primary care.

The following diagram shows how a number of boards, groups and organisations work together to ensure services are coordinated, consistent and person-centred.

Diagram has Ministry Cancer Services team in the centre. Above it are Minister of Health and DHBs, with accountability relationships. Beside it are the Cancer Leadership Board, Cancer Health Information Strategy Board, Hei Āhuru Mōwai and Cancer Consumer NZ, with advisory relationships. Also, with contractual relationships, Adolescent and Young Adult Network Aotearoa, National Child Cancer Network, the regional cancer networks and cancer sector collaborative (RCN managers, RCN clinical leads and Cancer Programme Clinical Advisors). Lastly, the Cancer Services Advisory Group advises the Cancer Services team, and are in turn advised by the six advisory groups: Radiation Oncology, Medical Oncology, Haematology, National Bowel Cancer, National Lung Cancer and National Urology Cancer.

For more information on these groups:

Cancer Services team

The Cancer Services team within the Ministry of Health leads the delivery of the National Cancer Programme. This includes working across the sector with DHBs, advisory groups, networks, non-governmental and consumer organisations, and across the Ministry with the National Screening Unit, Electives, Long Term Conditions, Primary Care and other teams. Together we support a coordinated and cohesive programme that delivers high-quality care to all people with cancer or suspected cancer in New Zealand, regardless of where they live, their ethnicity or their ability to pay.

Clinical advisors

The Cancer Services team in the Ministry is supported by three clinical advisors.

Humphrey Pullon

Humphrey is a specialist haematologist based at Waikato Hospital, in Hamilton, where he has worked for over 25 years. Prior to that he trained in Auckland and at Kings College Hospital in London, before returning to NZ.

Humphrey has a strong interest in haemato-oncology, having developed and led the autologous blood stem cell transplant programme at Waikato. 

He is very much an advocate for the regional delivery of specialist services, having run the Rotorua Hospital Haematology Outreach clinic for many years.

In 2012 Humphrey was appointed part-time Clinical Director of the Midland Cancer Network (MCN), where he has led the Faster Cancer Treatment programme across the Midland DHBs, and ensured the continued development of Cancer MDMs across the region. He is also a strong advocate for the accelerated roll out of the national bowel screening programme. Humphrey has undergone DHB-based leadership training, and has also served in a number of national leadership roles.

These include having been the NZ Councillor for the Haematology Society of Australia and NZ, Chairing the NZ Adult Medicine Committee of the RACP, and being a member of the Cancer Treatment Advisory Committee for a number of years. Humphrey has also served on the Medical and Scientific Committee of the Leukaemia and Blood Cancer Foundation.

Suzanne Beuker

Suzanne Beuker is a urological surgeon and the district-wide Head of Department for Urology at Nelson Marlborough District Health Board. She undertook her primary medical degree at the University of Auckland. After completing Fellow of Australasian College of Surgeons in New Zealand she spent 18 months as a Urology Fellow at the Oxford Radcliffe NHS Trust, with clinical teaching duties at the University of Oxford. Suzanne has recently completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Public Health through Massey University.

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