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Gisborne Cervical Screening Inquiry

Health Minister Annette King said today it was not appropriate for her to comment on issues and evidence during the course of the Gisborne Cervical Screening Inquiry.

"It is a ministerial inquiry, for which I am the Minister responsible, and it is not appropriate that I should say anything that could be construed as influencing the course of that inquiry," she said.

"In general terms, however, I can say that I am heartened that the evidence heard so far during the inquiry certainly seems to bear out my conviction before it began that wide-ranging issues would come before the inquiry team.

"The role of the inquiry is to determine what went wrong in Gisborne. I want to know what went wrong so that if there are problems with the programme, they can be fixed."

Mrs King said the Health Funding Authority had informed her it was conducting a nationwide review of cervical cytology practice, and that it would present its findings to the inquiry in July.

"If that nationwide review revealed a problem of potential Gisborne proportions in any other lab, I would expect that information to be made public immediately."


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