“It was an honour to today accept a petition signed by more than 10,000 Kiwis asking Health New Zealand to provide more treatment to multiple sclerosis patients, I hope the Minister of Health takes notice,” says ACT’s Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.
“Today’s petition should serve as a reminder to Labour as to who our health system is meant to be serving. Patients and families assembled today to voice their frustration at a government they feel is refusing to listen.
“Labour’s recent health reforms increased bureaucracy and forgot about the Kiwis at the heart of the system who it should be focussed on.
“The group who assembled at Parliament today are one of many who feel let-down.
"One speaker with multiple sclerosis spoke of how New Zealand taxpayers like herself shouldn’t be forced to leave the country to receive the treatments they need. She’s asking for her taxes to pay for better treatment options for other Kiwis in the same position.
“When the health reforms were going through Parliament, ACT put forward an amendment to introduce a Medicines Strategy focussed on ensuring better medicines access for Kiwis in need. It would have provided better oversight, transparency, and direction of travel for medicines in our health system. This was voted down by Labour.
“Labour should have been focussed on addressing the deficiencies in our health system and ensuring better outcomes for all New Zealanders. Hopefully today will serve as a reminder to the Government of the patients at the heart of the healthcare system who deserve better.”