“Labour has once again failed to help those affected by breast cancer, with the Brain Drain Budget offering nothing to address the huge backlog of women awaiting breast screening,” says ACT’s Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“Breast cancer has touched the lives of too many New Zealanders. We all know someone who has been affected and COVID lockdowns have pushed breast screening waitlists back by 10 years.

“The Government had an opportunity to address this problem today, instead they’ve ignored it in favour ideological reform and race-based spending.

“The Breast Cancer Foundation indicated that $15 million would have been enough to address this waitlist, a mere drop in the bucket of the billions and billions of dollars the Government spent today that would have made real changes to peoples’ lives.

“Labour is calling its Budget “A Secure Future”, but there is nothing secure about the future for many women who will be unable to access crucial screening that could save their lives as a result of it.

“While $191 million has been given to PHARMAC, there is no accompanying medicines strategy that could provide some surety the money would be spent in the right areas, such as those suffering from cancer.

“The Government should consider total health and wellbeing when making decisions. We can’t afford the tunnel vision focus on race. It should be about need.

“ACT will continue to fight for a well-rounded health system that focuses on supporting those in need, not just those in a particular demographic.”

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