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Health Minister lets down cancer patients

Paul Hutchison MP
National Party Health Spokesman

25 August 2005

Health Minister lets down cancer patients

Reports that the Ministry of Health and Health Minister Annette King have failed to keep their promises over treating cervical cancer patients in Wellington are deeply concerning, says National’s Health spokesman, Paul Hutchison.

“Labour’s rhetoric has been that optimal cervical cancer treatment is a ‘priority’ and is part of this year’s Cancer Strategy,” says Dr Hutchison.

The Minister is said to have made a clear promise to the Cancer Society in April that the allocation of equipment to the Wellington centre, as well as the funding issue, would be resolved by the end of June.

“It appears that the Minister has either broken her promise or once again got carried away with her rhetoric.

“It seems extraordinary that the Wellington DHBs have not accepted the offer by the Cancer Society of an interest free loan to buy the equipment to treat cervical cancer patients.

“Why doesn’t the Minister insist that the offer is accepted? She has said before: ‘The buck stops with me’.

“Instead, patients from Marlborough and Wellington will have to travel to the Waikato for treatment.

“Labour has spent $3.5 billion extra with very little to show, and now they are breaking their promises over a funding issue that has clear cut advantages for cervical cancer patients,” says Dr Hutchison.


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