New Zealand Māori Council calls for inquiry over cancer treatment cost
The New Zealand Māori Council is calling for an urgent inquiry into the cost of treatment for Māori as breast cancer rates increase.
This comes at a time where breast cancer rates among Māori women are on the increase yet the cost of drug treatment to extend women's lives remains unaffordable.
Manawatū mother Wiki Mulholland, who has advanced breast cancer, has plead to Pharmac to fund a drug that costs more than $6000 a month.
She says the cost of drugs is too high.
“As a family, we've decided to go down the chemo track, so it can bide me some time and give us that ability to raise some funds that I need.
“It's unfunded, so it's going to cost us $6,800 a month so I can have more time with my family.”
Matt Tukaki from the New Zealand Māori Council says the Māori Affairs Select Committee should hold an inquiry.
“We're asking for a parliamentary inquiry for our people, for Māori to both tell their stories and for that agency to be called before the inquiry so they can tell us exactly what's going on.”
The Chair of the Māori Affairs Select Committee Rino Tirikatene acknowledges what the New Zealand Māori Council is advising.
However, he says the council must follow proper process.
In rebuttal, the New Zealand New Zealand Māori Council says the Health Minister needs to find money to fund life extending medicines.