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Breast cancer appeal deserves more support

Media statement

For immediate release

Thursday, 9 October, 2003

United Future: breast cancer appeal deserves more support from government

On the eve of the Breast Cancer Foundation’s Pink Ribbon street appeal, United Future is calling on the women who run the New Zealand Government to put their money where their mouth is.

“We have found this week,” said United Future leader, Peter Dunne, “that the Ministry of Health is prepared to give millions of taxpayer dollars to anti-smoking groups specifically to lobby MP’s and write letters to newspapers in support of a private member’s Bill that seeks to ban smoking in bars and restaurants.

“I would have thought that Mesdames Clark, King, Dyson, Wilson et al would have been more than happy to put the same or larger amounts of money into the breast cancer screening programme, which is central to the health concerns of all New Zealand women.

“At present, breast screening is free to women aged between 50 and 65, but women outside that age range have to pay $95 a test.

The Breast Cancer Foundation says in New Zealand the most recent cancer registration figures show that 2345 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002 (compared with 1990 in 1997 and 2235 in 1999).

In 1999, 647 women died from breast cancer in New Zealand. In this country breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women.

“Given those figures, United Future strongly urges the Government to adopt an even-handed approach to dealing with the health concerns of the women of New Zealand,” said Mr Dunne.

ends

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