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Gisborne Inquiry Now in Gisborne

MEDIA RELEASE, 4 February 2000

Gisborne Inquiry Now in Gisborne

All public hearings of the Ministerial Inquiry into the under-reporting of cervical smear abnormalities in the Gisborne region will now be held in Gisborne rather than Auckland, Health Minister Annette King said today.

Mrs King said she made this change in order to meet the justified concerns of Gisborne and Tairawhiti women." "It makes very good sense that the inquiry should take place in the region where most of the women affected live."

Mrs King also announced the first public hearing of the inquiry, originally scheduled for February 7 in Auckland, would now be delayed until March.
The start date will be announced later in February,

She agreed to a delay after a request from women affected by the inquiry, she said. "The March hearings will allow more time for all parties, including affected women, to prepare."

Mrs King said the Government was keen to have the inquiry get under way quickly so that any lessons to be learned from its findings could be implemented.

"I am sure the affected women and family and whanau agree on the importance of ensuring that we do the inquiry well so that the women of New Zealand can have confidence in the national cervical cancer screening programme."

Information on services available for women who are or may be affected by the mis-reading of cervical smear tests can be obtained by calling the Health Funding Authority's 0800 number, 0800 444 633. Another 0800 number, 0800 942 266, is available for those who want more information about how to make submissions, or information on other aspects of the inquiry.

Information can also be obtained by email at gisborne.inquiry@moh.govt.nz or on the web at http://www.moh.govt.nz/news&issues.html.

ENDS

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