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King Sympathises With Gisborne Women

Health Minister Annette King says she feels great sympathy for Gisborne women, and Patient A in particular, following the Court of Appeal decision yesterday that Patient A cannot claim exemplary damages from retired pathologist Michael Bottrill.

"That is certainly not a comment on the legal merits of the decision, of course, but I know it will be yet another emotional setback for women affected by the Gisborne Cervical Screening Inquiry.

"At the time of the release of the Inquiry report in April, I said the Government would consider any claims the women brought against us.

"Legal claims have been made by many women. The women's lawyers have requested a meeting and once they have provided more information, we will be able to meet to discuss the claims.

"Although I cannot make a unilateral decision, I can say the Government will consider all claims seriously."

Mrs King said that tomorrow she would release the second monthly update on implementation of recommendations from the Gisborne report.


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