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Health Sector Reforms: A Solution To The Postcode Lottery?

The President of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand, Mark von Dadelszen, has welcomed the intent of the Government’s health sector reforms as announced by Health Minister Andrew Little and said he hopes it brings an end to the delays, discriminations and raw deals endured by Kiwi men with prostate cancer.

The charity, which provides support and education, funds research and raises awareness of prostate cancer, has long expressed concerns about deficiencies in care across New Zealand’s health landscape when it comes to equitable access to prostate cancer testing and treatment. This is particularly so for Māori and Pasifika men who continue to experience poorer outcomes.

"We also welcome the establishment of a Māori Health Authority," says von Dadelszen.

"Māori and Pacific Island communities, those in lower socio-economic groups and those living in remote and regional locations have been clearly disadvantaged."

Prostate cancer is a major health issue for Kiwi men - more than 3,500 men are diagnosed annually and around 650 will die each year. The Foundation has consistently campaigned to ensure that men with prostate cancer are served equitably when factors such as ethnicity, socio-economic status and location are taken into account.

"In the anticipation of a world class health system that provides equitable, timely access to diagnostic and treatment services for patients in New Zealand, the Foundation looks forward to seeing how the announced changes will improve outcomes for New Zealand men," says von Dadelszen.

"In the interim we will continue to advocate for all New Zealand men diagnosed with prostate cancer, their families and loved ones, facing a life and death battle with this insidious disease."

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