A step forward on cancer drug funding but more to do

The Green Party welcomes the announcement of more funding for cancer treatments and medicines, however, calls for more to be done to address the severe health inequities that come with cancer.  

“Today’s announcement is welcome news, however, there remains much to do in ensuring everyone has the care and support they need when facing cancer,” says the Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson.

“We know that not everyone in Aotearoa has access to support - far from it. We also know that those left behind or let down by our health system are often Māori or Pasifika.

“At every point in the chain, our health system fails to provide culturally appropriate and equitable care for Māori. This is borne out in the way that Māori life expectancy rates lag significantly behind Pākehā. This is unacceptable.

“Māori are 80 percent more likely than non-Maori to die from cancer. Māori women  are twice as likely to be diagnosed with, and die from, cervical cancer than Pakeha women. When Māori women’s access to cervical cancer screening is well behind other groups, we must ensure any increases in resourcing for screening is rolled out equitably, and considers the needs of whānau Māori. 

“These sobering statistics remind us of the value a Māori Health Authority could have had in reducing some of these stark inequities. 

“All New Zealanders deserve to be supported in their times of need. It is upon us as political leaders to ensure our communities have the resources they need to navigate the challenges they face. 

“The Greens remain focused on fighting for those who need it most,” says the Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson.

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