I am proud to announce that we now have an established weekly Skin Cancer Multidisciplinary Meeting to discuss the care plan for patients with advanced or more complex forms of skin cancer. This meeting brings together experts from many different fields of medicine to help ensure that the patients in the region get the best possible treatment and outcome. We now have a full quorum of members, including plastic surgeons, dermatologists, general surgeons, general practitioners, oncologists, pathologists and radiologists.
Multi-disciplinary meetings are commonplace within all forms of cancer. There is excellent data to support their value in ensuring patients receive the optimal treatment for their cancer. In larger metropolitan centres of New Zealand, skin cancer mutlidisciplinary meetings have been standard practice for discussing the care plan for patients with complex forms of skin cancer. In the Bay of Plenty, this new Skin Cancer MDM is the first of its kind.
The meeting runs on a weekly basis to make sure decisions are made in a timely fashion. Although the administrative support for the meeting comes from Tauranga public hospital, any patient across the Bay of Plenty (public and private) with a complex skin cancer can be discussed within the meeting. As the chairperson of the meeting, my role is to ensure each meeting provides the right environment for clinicians to determine what treatment to recommend for each patient discussed.
Going forwards, I hope the MDM continues to grow in strength and provide a platform for patient-centred discussions, education and sharing expertise.