Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Cancer Boss Insults Cancer Patients and their Families

Comments attributed to Diana Safarti, New Zealand’s Interim National Director of Cancer Control in today’s ‘National Portrait’ article on Stuff, have insulted a great many whose families are living with a loved one with advanced cancer. Safarti has made it clear that funding of cancer drugs is not a priority for her. Such a position clearly neglects any treatment options for patients unlucky enough to be diagnosed with advanced cancer.

States Chair of Patient Voice Aotearoa, Malcolm Mulholland “Safarti has expressed similar views in past media interviews. It would appear her role is to be portrayed as New Zealand’s preeminent expert by which to tell patients and their whānau living with advanced cancer that the drugs they seek don’t ‘do what they say on the tin.’ This cuts to the heart of why people who signed the Blair Vining petition wanted an ‘independent cancer agency’. Safarti just parrots the same quotes as the Minister of Health and that would explain why she was selected to lead New Zealand’s cancer agency.”

Mulholland continues “Safarti clearly has a myopic focus on preventative measures when it comes to cancer care in New Zealand. While we agree that such a focus should be one of several, why does Safarti feel compelled to put the boot into those with advanced cancer by commenting ‘Nobody ever sold their house to go get a miracle prevention for cancer’? As she should know, many patients and their whānau have had to sell their homes because they can’t access drugs that are funded in other OECD countries. Safarti also comments that New Zealand has limited resources and that if we spend money on cancer drugs, we can’t spend money elsewhere. However, like the Minister, she refuses to enter into a debate about what is an appropriate level of funding for Pharmac because she knows that New Zealand only spends a third of what it should on drugs for New Zealand.”

“Perhaps the most insulting aspect of the article is that Safarti is represented as a crusader for equitable cancer outcomes for Māori and yet she fails to recognise that because Māori tend to earn less, that this impacts upon the ability of Māori whānau to self-fund life-prolonging drugs. Because of this, Māori live for a shorter period of time in comparison with non-Māori, resulting in less equitable outcomes for Māori.”

“The strongest message New Zealanders can give to Safarti and the Government is that the funding of drugs, including those for cancer, is a priority, by signing the petition to reform Pharmac and double its budget. Perhaps then we might see stronger and more independent leadership regarding cancer care in New Zealand.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Our (Fatal?) Shortage Of Ventilators

With a few honourable exceptions there has been a striking lack of focus on the (insufficient) number of ventilators in our intensive care units – and an almost complete absence of overt urgency about acquiring and/or building more of them. Ventilators are literally the difference between life and death for seriously ill Covid-19 patients. Arguably, this shortfall is more vital than having enough PPE gowns, masks and gloves, important as those are...More>>


Police Commissioner: Christchurch Terrorist Pleads Guilty

Police acknowledge the guilty pleas in the Christchurch Mosque attacks prosecution that were entered in the Christchurch High Court today. The guilty pleas to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of engaging in a terrorist ... More>>


Government: Nation Steps Up To COVID-19 Alert Level 2

New Zealand has been moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2, Reduce Contact, in an escalation of efforts to reduce the spread of the virus in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today... More>>


COVID-19: Business Response Package

Cabinet today approved the development of a Business Continuity Package to help support the economy through the disruption caused by COVID-19. “New Zealand is well-placed to respond to COVID-19. More>>


Transport: $54 billion Investment In Draft GPS 2021

The Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) 2021 on land transport confirms that the Government will invest a record $54 billion in its balanced transport policy over the next decade. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones

No doubt, last night’s defeat of abortion law reform provisions that would have created safe zones around abortion clinics will be portrayed, by some, as a victory for free speech. It isn’t. It was a victory for bigotry and intimidation directed ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National's Regulation Crusade

Lets step back in time now, to simpler days and to simple-minded solutions. So…. if National gets elected, landlords will once again be able to evict tenants at will, raise rents anytime they like, and ignore the need to install a healthy standard of heating in the homes they put out to rent. This promised ‘bonfire of regulations’ is being done in the name of cutting red tape... More>>


SMC - Expert Reaction: PF2050 Strategy

DOC has released a strategy to reach Predator Free 2050, along with an action plan through to 2025. The predator-free goal focuses on three groups of mammals: possums, three species of rats, plus stoats, ferrets and weasels... More>>


Land, Air And Sea: Regions To Benefit From NZ Upgrade

Regional New Zealand will be a hive of activity in the coming months as the New Zealand Upgrade Programme delivers on its promise to modernise our infrastructure, prepare for climate change and help grow our economy. As part of the $12 billion ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels