In a further commitment to helping our regions, the Coalition Government has announced new investments in healthcare that will ensure provincial New Zealanders will not need to travel into city centres to avail of life-saving cancer treatment.
In the first tranche of a wider cancer plan, 12 Linear Accelerator (LINAC) machines will be bought over the next three years – replacing half the radiation machines in New Zealand. Capital and Coast, Hawke’s Bay, and Taranaki DHBs are among the recipients of new LINAC machines, which will give access to radiation therapy to their residents.
Auckland and Northland DHBs also want to install a LINAC in the Northland region in the future, while Southern DHB will be supported to get its new LINAC up and running more efficiently.
The first five LINAC machines will cost $25 million in total, and represents the single largest government capital investment ever made in radiation therapy. It is expected to make a real difference to cancer sufferers across the country, especially given that Kiwis living in areas with under-resourced DHBs have a higher chance of getting cancer and a lower rate of being able to get it checked.
This investment by the Coalition Government will reduce these regional variations in cancer treatment, and that provincial New Zealanders can still access high-quality cancer care.
Long-term underfunding by the previous government of the healthcare system left many DHBs with antiquated radiation machines that don’t function efficiently, and with no money to replace them. This latest announcement by the Coalition Government rectifies that negligence and affirms our commitment to regional New Zealand.