Oncology is the care and treatment of people who have been diagnosed with cancer.  Medical oncology involves treatment with medications such as chemotherapy; Radiation oncology treats people using radiotherapy. Not all people with cancer are referred to an oncologist or the oncology service.


The South Canterbury Oncology Service is based at Timaru Hospital and consists of a Medical Oncology Specialist, Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialists, a Cancer Nurse Coordinator and a Social Worker.

Treatment is provided under the direction of oncology or haematology specialists who may be our home oncologist or specialists based in Christchurch or Dunedin. Local support is provided by the Timaru Hospital consultants, GP practices, and a range of hospital and community services.

Oncology clinics: People receiving chemotherapy under the care of an oncologist are regularly reviewed in clinic.  These are a combination of our local medical oncologist, visiting medical oncologist clinics in the Out Patient Department, or via video conference facilities in a TeleHealth clinic.

Treatment: Chemotherapy and related infusions are given by the chemotherapy nurses at Day Patient Services (DPS) in the Oncology Medical Unit.


Oncology Medical Unit
Timaru Hospital Campus
Queen Street,
Timaru, 7910

Contact information

Email: oncology@scdhb.health.nz
Phone: 03 687 2418
Fax: 03 687 2289

Referral information

New referrals to medical and radiation oncology are by secondary service consultants.
Referrals to the Cancer Nurse Coordinator and Cancer and Psychological Support Service Social Worker are by any health professional - see Health Pathways for guidance.