The government has released the Wellbeing Budget 2021, and Bowel Cancer New Zealand (NZ) is disappointed that funding for PHARMAC was less than half the amount requested, but we have yet to learn more about the details on how this funding will specifically affect bowel cancer patients and treatment.
Bowel Cancer NZ does welcome the news of additional funding in the areas of bowel cancer screening and the establishment of a Māori Health authority.
Increased funding to continue the rollout of bowel screening across all DHBs is a huge win for bowel cancer patients and the hard work our charity and the bowel cancer community has put in over the years.
Poor health outcomes for Māori and Pasifika people affected by bowel cancer have been the norm for far too long, so the creation of a Māori Health authority is a step in the right direction towards achieving health equity.
Bowel Cancer NZ is already working in this space; by collaborating with Māori researchers in Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) to understand how Māori believe the National Bowel Screening Programme can be delivered in a more culturally appropriate manner to ensure optimal uptake of the roll-out later this year for better health outcomes.