Speech to the Prostate Awareness
and Support Society(P.A.S.S.) on 13 June, 1999 (Extracts)
The Rt. Hon. Winston Peters MP
It is an unfortunate fact of life that many New Zealand men do not look
place themselves at risk physically when they are young through alcohol, drugs,
cars and activities based on the philosophy that "I am young, strong and indestructible
- it can't happen to me!"
is also a known fact that, on average, men usually die younger than women
in this country. It happens for a variety of reasons - but one cause of these
premature deaths is prostate cancer and all New Zealand men should be grateful
for your Support Society which was formed to help sufferers and their families.
indicate that there will probably be between five and six hundred deaths this
year as a result of prostate cancer.
means that, in statistical terms, 10 or 12 Kiwi males will die this week from
many of them would have lived if the disease had been picked up in its early
considerable number according to figures that show that one out of every ten
men gets an aggressive form of prostate cancer, and 3 per cent of those will
die from it.
terms of human suffering and loss, we simply cannot afford statistics like
this and more has to be done to detect and treat the disease as early as possible.
Zealand First believes firmly in the principles of preventative medicine.
is why we have pushed for Hepatitis B and Diabetes screening programmes.
also strongly endorse the screening programmes aimed at detecting breast cancer
and cervical cancer in women.
are quite rightly free services and it would appear perfectly logical to introduce
a similar free service to males at risk from prostate cancer.
would appear logical that your organisation could assist health authorities
with an outline of what is needed.
are aware that the Cancer Society does not recommend across the board testing,
because the physical examination and (PSA) blood tests are not always accurate,
and can suggest cancer when none is present.
we also know that many of your members have contracted aggressive prostate
cancer and have shown NO symptoms.
New Zealand men do not usually head to the doctor unless there is something
often their problems are detected too late.
need to make men more aware of the dangers of prostate cancer and get them
to do something about their problems.
the moment there is a cost for the GP visit - and in some areas there is also
a cost for the blood test.
believe that the cost could be a barrier to some men going to the doctor so
it is only fair that the test should be universally available, and should
has to be a commitment to make men aware - and the funds must be made available
Zealand First will make these funds available after the next election, when
we are again in a position to do so.
all, we did get free medical treatment for the under sixes, despite strong
opposition from our coalition partner, and for Hepatitis B screening - despite
money on an awareness programme for prostate cancer, and paying for examinations
would be another sound investment.
the moment we are spending too much money on the bureaucrats in the health
system instead of investing in public health.
Health Funding Authority, which allocates funds for the public health system,
is spending a fortune on new offices, staff salaries and consultants in Wellington.
is a major problem at the moment. Too many health bureaucrats are in business
for themselves instead of being in the business of providing a health service
for New Zealanders.
this week we learned that we have a disgracefully low level of immunisation
for our children, and that we are heading for a measles epidemic.
have also had a meningitis epidemic for several years.
are Third World diseases - and while our children suffer from them, the Health
Funding Authority bureaucrats are spending a thousand dollars each on new
chairs for their new yuppie offices.
days are numbered.
Zealand First will be releasing comprehensive health policies to attack these
problems over the next few months. We will have one unified national health
strategy and a streamlined system to deliver it.
will strongly support preventative medicine - and that includes strong support
for self help organisations like your own, and a free screening programme
that is available for those who choose to use it.