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Government announces $25 million for new cancer treatment machines – but is it really a new announcement?

05/08/2019

So went the headlines in the media. Funnily,last weekend whilst Ms Ardern was engaged on vital affairs of state overseas, National announced their plan for a National Cancer Agency.

Now the Ardern Regime has been taking some flak over it’s dilatoriness with regard to implementing their election promise for a Cancer Agency and a Cancer Plan. Indeed, there is no longer it seems any firm commitment to a National Cancer Agency.

So yesterday Jacinda Ardern and David Clark made an announcement that the Government would spend $25 million on new cancer radiation machines.

However, it seems that some of these machines were planned for purchase anyway as this 2018  Manawatu Standard article suggests.

Yet whilst we can spend $1 billion a year of the PGF we can only spend $25 million over 3 years on life saving equipment to combat a major health issue.

Interestingly, in the announcement it is unclear what commitment if any has been made regarding operation costs for the expanded services, because as we well know DHBs are all running deficits. Furthermore, it is my understanding that getting and retaining the staff necessary to operate these machines may well be problematic.

So we get a headline announcement, but will it be resourced?

Will there be the necessary staff available?

Or will this just be as so often with governments announcements, of all political shades, just an announcement, but the delivery will fall far short.

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