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National promises HPV self-tests, more funding

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 6/08/2020
Judith Collins wearing a suit and tie © RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

National is promising to spend $20 million over four years on increasing testing rates and accessibility to clinical trials for gynaecological cancer if elected.

The party said the funding would protect women from a disease that kills almost 500 people a year in New Zealand.

Of that, $4 million would be used to fund a campaign to raise awareness of cervical cancer symptoms and $12m would be spent on increasing the number of tests by about 10,000 each year.

The party is also promising to transition to HPV self-tests in its first term, which it said are more convenient and effective.

The remaining $4m would be used to ensure more women have access to clinical trials to improve possible treatments.

National Leader Judith Collins said too many women are going untested and undiagnosed.

"National is focused on providing better outcomes closer to home for Kiwi families and communities. This funding will save lives and ensure New Zealand women are getting the care they deserve," she said.

The policy is in addition to National's already announced plan to fund an independent Cancer Agency and set up a dedicated fund for cancer drugs, Collins said.

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