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Waiting list crackdown is dropped.

FRANK Dobson is to shelve the drive to shorten hospital waiting lists, The Mirror can reveal.

Instead he wants to give priority to those in the greatest need of treatment.

He will guarantee that all people diagnosed with cancer will see a consultant within two weeks.

The Health Secretary's move will come this autumn, by when the Government hopes to have met its election target of trimming queues by 100,000.

It could lead to waiting lists rising again.

Doctors say patients have had to wait longer to see specialists' as hospitals concentrate on cutting the numbers awaiting surgery.

Women suspected of having breast cancer are already seen inside a fortnight. A Minister said: "The breast cancer initiative is working and it can be more widely applied."
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Author:Hardy, James
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 18, 1999
Words:127
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