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Open Letter From Ron Mark To Annette King

4 March, 2005

Hon Annette King Minister of Health Parliament Buildings Wellington

Dear Minister

Yvonne Fisk - Cataract Operation

Thank you for your letter dated 2 February 2005 regarding Mrs Yvonne Fisk.

It would appear from your reply that you are comfortable with the fact that Mrs Fisk was approached by a 'mystery benefactor' offering to pay for her cataract surgery, even though this should be the responsibility of the Canterbury District Health Board. However please note that Mrs Fisk has subsequently declined the mystery benefactor, as she did not feel comfortable accepting 'charity'.

Mrs Fisk is currently employed as a caregiver with the Nurse Maude Association. Her position involves caring for others in their homes. As Mrs Fisk's vision has deteriorated and her 'good eye' now has a cataract her employment is threatened. Therefore Mrs Fisk has taken out a personal loan of $3,000.00 to fund her own private cataract surgery. Please note Mrs Fisk will service this loan on her wage of $9.10 per hour.

I find Mrs Fisk's situation totally unacceptable and I believe that your government has failed her.

Ironically this week I noticed a billboard at Wellington Airport requesting donations to an agency that trains overseas medical personnel to perform cataract operations in third world countries. Should we send Mrs Fisk overseas to get help?

How sad is it that New Zealand citizens, under a Labour government, are donating money to fund the delivery of cataract operations in those countries, while their own government refuses them the same service.

I am requesting one more time that you fund Mrs Fisk’s operation.

Please.

Yours sincerely

Ron Mark MP New Zealand First Const Enq/Fisk, Yvonne/Annette King 21 Feb 05

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