INDEPENDENT NEWS

What About Your Promises, Labour?

Published: Mon 25 Aug 2003 04:50 PM
What About Your Promises, Labour?
Friday 22 Aug 2003 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Health
ACT New Zealand Associate Health Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today accused Prime Minister Helen Clark of hiding from the `Bad Blood' issue, and asked why Health Minister Annette King has not yet fulfilled her earlier promise to address this problem.
"By 1989, many OECD countries had begun screening blood donations. Then Health Minister Helen Clark knew this, yet New Zealand's screening process did not begin until 1992 - making us the second-to-last OECD country to do so," Dr Newman said.
"The Crimes Act states that `it is a crime to knowingly endanger the life, safety or health of the public or any individual'. Having worked with these victims, and knowing the impact on their families, I believe Ms Clark must explain why she refused to fund Hepatitis C screening programmes while being aware of the risks.
"Around 700 New Zealanders contracted Hepatitis C from bad blood products before screening began. In response, the then government offered compensation to victims who discovered they'd been infected between August 1990 and July 1992 - there was no provision for those who contracted the disease in the late 1980s.
"Further, because Hepatitis C can take years to show itself, we now have victims who did not realise they had contracted it at the time compensation was available. That does not mean they can be ignored. This problem stemmed from Labour, and Labour must fix it - especially as the Minister responsible now heads the party.
"But this does not rest just with the Prime Minister. During her election campaign, Ms King promised victims fair compensation if she was elected. Yet, once in office, she again excluded victims from the late 1980s.
"Whether Ms King and Ms Clark like it or not, this is their problem. Ms Clark, for overseeing the health system that failed these victims, and Ms King for promising to solve the problem. It is completely unfair that these people, who contracted the illness through the health system, are not being looked after by the Government," Dr Newman said.
ENDS
For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

Next in New Zealand politics

Housing NZ to right meth testing wrong
By: New Zealand Government
Meka Whaitiri removed as a Minister
By: New Zealand Government
Making history for women’s pay in New Zealand
By: New Zealand Government
Celebrating NZ as a trailblazer for women
By: New Zealand Government
Refugee quota increases to 1500 in 2020
By: New Zealand Government
Standards system reassurance sought
By: New Zealand Government
Heart put back into social housing
By: Green Party
Government shouldn’t be compensating crooks
By: New Zealand National Party
Review finds meth standard not improperly influenced
By: Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment
Meth eviction compensations don’t account for social harm
By: Auckland Action Against Poverty
The ongoing effects of the 0.5 meth standard
By: NZ Property Investors' Federation
Two Ministers Down, Nine More To Go
By: ACT New Zealand
Unions celebrate Suffrage Day win for women
By: New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
E tū welcomes Suffrage Day equal pay bill
By: E tu
Legislation another milestone in pay equity journey
By: NZNO
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media