The Government’s announcement today about cancer treatment is nothing more than business as usual and will leave New Zealanders feeling underwhelmed, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.
“This will be bitterly disappointing for thousands of cancer sufferers who would have been expecting a lot more today,” says Simon.
The Government has today announced new cancer treatment services for three regions of the North Island but has not committed to setting up a National Cancer Agency.
“This is little more than business as usual that any government has to do, replacing machines that need replacing,” says Simon.
“While it’s good that some patients won’t have to travel for treatment, there is no additional funding for more oncologists and radiographers who will be required to carry out the treatment.
“There is still no target for treatment timeliness and no certainty that treatments will be better or faster.
“The Government said it would fund a National Cancer Agency but it has failed to deliver on its promise. It also hasn’t committed to any new funding for cancer drugs.
“If today’s announcement is about eliminating postcode cancer, then why are the regions that don’t currently have facilities the last places to get them?” says Simon.
“This is a desperate attempt from the Government to look like it’s doing something while it continues to have no plan, no National Cancer Agency and no additional funding for drugs. Two years into Government, New Zealanders expected more.
“The reality is this Government has wasted billions of dollars on Shane Jones’ slush fund and Fees Free tertiary and so isn’t prioritising lifesaving cancer drugs
“The Government is a million miles away from the world class cancer care it promised at the election.
“National has committed to a National Cancer Agency and $200 million more for cancer drugs. The Government has just broken more promises and once again failed to deliver for New Zealanders.”