The Government has failed to keep the promise in its coalition agreement with NZ First to progressively increase the age for free breast screening to 74 years of age, National’s Health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says.
“There was nothing in Budget 2020 to suggest this is a priority in the near future and the Minister is trying to use Covid-19 as an excuse for his failure to provide any further funding over the past three budgets.
The Ministry of Health’s impact analysis on extending BreastScreen Aotearoa has concluded that there is sufficient evidence that screening women aged 70-74 reduces breast cancer mortality. It is clear that the Ministers failure to deliver on this promise will cost lives.
“1000 women in that age group are diagnosed with breast cancer every year and approximately 300 of those women die. More screening will improve that.
“Alongside increased DHB deficits, falling numbers of elective surgeries and failed promises to increase funding for midwives this is yet another example of David Clark failing to deliver on Health promises.”