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National’s plan for a cancer agency will have transformative results for Māori, National’s Māori Development spokesperson Jo Hayes says.

“Māori suffer disproportionately from cancer, and are twice as likely both to have cancer and to die from cancer-related diseases than Pākehā.

“Part of the reason for this high mortality rate is down to late diagnoses, rather than the common misconception Māori present late to the doctor with symptoms.

“National’s cancer plan – an independent, expert-led cancer agency that’s recognised as the best way to ensure prevention, early detection and high-quality treatment, following international best practice and with the power to hold DHBs to account – will transform outcomes for Māori cancer sufferers.

“I’ve had personal experience of the heartbreaking consequences a late diagnosis can bring, and I want to ensure as many whānau as possible are saved the pain of losing a loved one when, if it had been caught earlier, their cancer could have been treatable.

“National will fund access to lifesaving treatments with the support of leading clinicians, ensuring that innovative and effective medicines reach the patients who need them most.

“All Kiwis should have access to the best possible cancer treatment. National’s plan will ensure that this happens.

“It’s about supporting whānau. Our bottom line is you.”

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