BCAC Welcomes Budget Boost for Health

28 May 2009

The Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition (BCAC) applauds the Government’s move to boost funding for healthcare as part of Budget 2009.

The Finance Minister, Bill English, announced today that an additional $3billion would be invested in health over the next four years.  This includes new money for subsidised medicines and elective surgery.

The chairperson of BCAC, Libby Burgess, says the funding boost for health will make a real difference to the lives of many people. 

“We’re thrilled an extra $139million has been allocated for medicines as part of Budget 2009. This will enable District Health Boards to purchase more drugs which will improve quality of life for many New Zealanders suffering from conditions such as cancer,” Ms Burgess says.

“We’ve long wanted to see better access to medicines for those using the public health system and this is a welcome step in that direction.”

BCAC was instrumental in lobbying for a fully-funded 12-month treatment programme for the breast cancer drug, Herceptin.  The Government began fully-funding the drug in December last year.

Ms Burgess says BCAC is also pleased to see the Government invest an extra $70million in health professionals to increase elective surgery services.

She says this is good news for women who choose to have breast reconstruction surgery following a full or partial mastectomy.

“This type of surgery is classified as elective surgery and many women can wait months or even years for reconstructive surgery. This budget boost should help to reduce these distressing and unnecessary waiting times for many women.”

BCAC also approves of the extra $25million allocated for medical training places.

“New Zealand needs qualified medical professionals in order to maintain a first-world health system.  Any move to ensure the country has a larger pool of professionals to draw on is welcome,” Ms Burgess says.

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