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New Agency in fight against cancer

Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has officially opened the new Cancer Control Agency, a facility she said marks the start of a new era for cancer care in New Zealand.

She also announced membership of the Advisory Council that will be supporting the Agency (see Appointments).

The Prime Minister said key components of the Government’s plan to improve cancer care and control include launching the comprehensive Cancer Action Plan for 2019-29.

“We will also be investing in 12 new linear accelerators for radiation treatment, including plans to put machines in Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki and Northland for the first time,” Ms Ardern said.

“We will increase funding for PHARMAC, with three new cancer drugs funded already this year.”

She said the official opening marked the beginning of a new era for cancer care.

“The Cancer Control Agency will play a critical role in ensuring all New Zealanders get world-class cancer care, no matter who they are or where they live,” Ms Ardern said.

“Improving cancer survival rates in New Zealand is a long-term challenge that the Agency will play a big part in helping to turn around.”

She said modernising New Zealand’s approach to cancer would not happen overnight, but with strong leadership from the Agency and a greater focus on prevention, screening and treatment, the country was well placed to make progress.

Minister for Health, David Clark said recruitment was under way to bring the Agency up to its full strength of close to 40 full-time staff.