Getting cancer is bad enough but it’s worse if you happen to live in the central North Island

January 3, 2011

So my advice to you, young man, is to persuade your parents to stay here in Zimbabwe and not emigrate to Palmerston North.

Alf is braced for a hard time, next time he turns up at the Eketahuna Club.

He has been badly let down by his colleague, Tony Ryall, our Minister of Health.

Ryall declined to be questioned on Radio NZ’s Summer Report this morning about a shortage of oncologists and the axing of chemotherapy for some patients by the central North Island cancer treatment service.

Under the new rules, MidCentral District Health Board no longer will accept referrals for patients who are less likely to benefit from the treatments.

Less likely to benefit?

Who will make this life-or-death decision?

Oh, yes. Doctors.

This is deeply disturbing.

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Precious health money goes to Taranaki Maori to work out what whanau ora means

September 16, 2010

Alf is bemused by a report of a pioneering Maori health group which “is taking another step into uncharted territory”.

And whose money is being spent on this pioneering venture?

Ours. They will be given some of the stuff the IRD takes out of all our incomes.

This Tui Ora outfit is the governing body for 13 Taranaki Maori-focused health groups.

According to Stuff, it launched a three-year project to design and develop a whanau ora-driven health service yesterday.

Tui Ora was among 31 Maori health, disability and social service providers granted contracts through Te Ao Auahatanga Hauora Maori, the Maori Health Innovation Fund, and will share in $20 million of Government funding.

So how will this money be spent?

Not on health services, in the first instance, but on consultations.

This means bloody hui, in Alf’s experience of these things. Lots of hui.

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