Budget 2022 lets down the women of NZ
Yesterday the finance minister, Grant Robertson, announced the Government's 2022 Budget. A record $11.1 billion was allocated for the health system, to set up and run Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority.
The Government said this was the biggest investment ever made for the health system. Yet the Budget failed to deliver the $15 million we've been asking for to help BreastScreen Aotearoa clear the backlog of women overdue their mammograms. The Ministry of Health says this backlog affects 50,000 women who couldn't get their mammograms when the national breast screening programme was paused during Covid lockdowns.
We have been raising this issue for over eight months now. Our chair Justine Smyth says the Government’s lack of action is a “complete failure” to tackle the leading cause of death for Kiwi women under 65.
“It makes no sense that a Budget that was supposed to ‘accelerate the recovery and rebuild from the impacts of Covid-19’ fails to address an issue so crucial to the wellbeing of Kiwi women.
“With no plan on how Government will clear the backlog urgently, we fear for the hundreds of women who could end up with harder to treat, or worse untreatable breast cancers.”
We were also deeply disappointed to see the Government ignored our calls, and those of many others, to double Pharmac’s budget.
“Right now there are 14 unfunded life-saving breast cancer drugs that are widely available in other countries and this Budget won’t help women in New Zealand who desperately need them,” says Justine.
Join us in calling for action
We need your help to advocate for those women who have missed their mammograms. Add your voice to the call and join our new campaign, #GiveUsOurMammograms. Find out more and take action here.