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Julia Peters Has Done “Wonderful Job”

Health Minister Annette King says she is disappointed to learn that the National Screening Unit clinical director Dr Julia Peters is resigning for professional and personal reasons.

“Julia has done a wonderful job, and I am pleased that she has agreed to continue providing expert advice after she leaves the programme. I am sure that will be invaluable.”

Ms King said she was bitterly disappointed at the “political grandstanding” of Green Party health spokesperson Sue Kedgley and National Party woman affairs spokesperson Anne Tolley over Dr Peters’ resignation.

”Ms Kedgley says the Government has to make financial resourcing of the programme a key element of this year’s Budget, but money is not the issue. Finding the people with the right qualifications is the issue. Overseas expert Dr Euphemia McGoogan, whom I have asked to monitor the Gisborne Inquiry recommendations for me, said quite clearly last month that it’s not a question of money, but of finding the right people, here or overseas.

“As for Ms Tolley’s efforts to place blame, I would like to point out to her that I have refrained from attaching blame to the National Party for its handling and resourcing of the screening programmes through the 1990s. My priority has been to try to ensure the programmes become as effective as possible, not to seek to blame anyone.

“If Anne Tolley wants to revisit her party’s record, I will be more than happy to discuss the performance of National’s constantly-changing parade of health ministers. Each one of them was urged, as far back as 1991, to carry out an audit of the programme.”

Ends

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