Michael Woodhouse - Health
12 December 2019
National’s Health Discussion Document explores policies that seek to address health issues faced specifically by women
and improve their care, National’s Health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says.
“Women need care for a range of different health issues, from pregnancy and childbirth to rare gynaecological cancers
and, while both women and men can suffer from breast cancer, it’s substantially more common in women.
“We want women who experience breast cancer to have access to compassionate care which gives them dignity and restores
their confidence. Right now, women who have a mastectomy aren’t always offered a reconstruction, or face a long wait for
that to happen.
“Not all women will want to have a reconstruction, but we’re asking whether it should be offered routinely as a part of
cancer care so that those who do want it can access it in a timely way and, where possible, have a reconstruction at the
same time as their mastectomy.
“We also want to ensure women can access high quality maternity care across New Zealand, whether they’re in Auckland or
Southland. Part of that can be done through ensuring community midwives are remunerated fairly for the amazing work they
“We’re proposing addressing income equity claims by independent midwives in line with the recommendations of the
Co-Design Report commissioned by the previous National Government, which this Government has so far failed to take up.
“For women who have been treated using surgical mesh, there are sometimes mild or even debilitating complications which
impact on quality of life. It’s effective for many patients, but we’ll establish a National Mesh Register to track the
incidence of adverse events. The current Government pledged to establish one, but it has failed to deliver.
“National’s committed to ensuring women young and old have high-quality healthcare available to them, whether it’s part
of their cancer treatment, when they become a mum, or after a gynaecological surgery.
“National will make health a priority.”