Duncan Garner: Labour is failing to deliver for cancer patients

Opinion 05/07/2019

Next week the Government will release its draft cancer action plan, and not before time. 

It's taken too long, it's been their blind spot.

Dr David Clark, a seemingly lovely gentleman, appears to be scared to act in case he actually does something. 

But people have died in the meantime and everything Labour said before the election hasn't happened. 

Quite frankly these guys almost promised to cure the disease. 

They made huge promises to Kiwis, no more second-class treatement based on where you live, the latest treatments will be funded, no more of this stupid travel to Australia to get the latest care, Labour is coming they said. Help is on the way. 

What a cynical ploy to plough votes from the sick, suffering and terminally ill and the thousands of us who worry what's around the corner. Two out of three of us in the years ahead will get cancer. That's why it's crucial our politicians stop playing with our lives and get this stuff right.

If you can't do it, don't promise it.

But it hasn't been hard finding out what other people around the world are able to access and I truly believe, despite the gains here, we are further behind our traditional allies in cancer treatments and care than we have ever been. 

Pharmac is a closed shop, it's not accountable or transparent to the people that fund it and this Government, exhausted from fighting battles on many fronts, got to the cancer queue and looked at the size of the problem and slumped over a nearby chair and fell into a coma. When you wake next week, please re-read your 2017 election promises - you may be surprised how much you promised and how little you have done. 

Can you please be honest with New Zealanders next week?

Tell us the truth; no more over-promising, no fancy reports. This is about wellbeing more than anything. 

This is about mums and dads and sons and daughters, it's about families and love and loss.

Nothing is more important.

Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.