Free mammograms for older women receives cross-party support in Parliament - News & Updates • Breast Cancer Foundation NZ

Free mammograms for older women receives cross-party support in Parliament

Breast Cancer Foundation NZ welcomes the cross-party support shown by MPs in the House last night towards widening eligibility of free mammograms to women aged 74.

Dr Shane Reti’s private member’s bill to raise the breast screening age was introduced in Parliament yesterday, seven years after Breast Cancer Foundation NZ first started campaigning for this change.

Although the House ran out of time to hear from all parties and vote on the bill, the Foundation’s chair, Justine Smyth, is delighted to have Act, Greens, Labour and National supporting it: “Hearing politicians from across the spectrum recognise the importance of breast screening was incredibly heartening.

“After seven long years of hard campaigning, we’re ecstatic to finally see some political leadership on this issue and we thank Dr Reti for championing this vital change. It’s disappointing the first reading couldn’t be passed last night, but we hope this will be a priority for the next Government to progress quickly.

“Widening access to life-saving mammograms is one of the recommendations we’ve asked all parties to adopt and you’ll soon be able to see how each party intends to tackle breast cancer in our updated policy scorecard. Ahead of the election, we’re sending a message to our politicians that in order to stop our women dying of breast cancer, we need strong political action,” adds Smyth.

Breast Cancer Foundation NZ surveyed the main political parties in April, asking where they stand on the biggest issues facing breast cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment. The charity has graded each party on their responses and will soon publish an updated scorecard from a follow-up survey. The first version of the scorecard can be seen here -