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Posts Tagged ‘NZ Parliament; Health select committee’

PROSTABLOG NZ: The ideological debate about prostate cancer screening hasn’t moved along much in New Zealand over the past few years.

I’m judging this from an anecdote a guest speaker at my journalism course told students this week.

An experienced journalist, she said a few years ago she was writing a piece for NZ Listener magazine about PSA screening, and the Ministry of Health would speak to her only on the condition they got to see the resulting article prior to publication.

That usually causes journalists to feel apprehensive, and in this case her fears were realised.

The Ministry people hit the roof over what she wrote (basically, that all men over 50 should be urged to get PSA tests), and made this plain to her editor.

Judging by what I heard from the Ministry team at the Health Select Committee hearing into prostate cancer screening late last year, the official view is still the same: PSA bad.

Speaking of which – I wonder when we’re going to hear anything further from the committee?

Chairman Paul Hutchison made the MOH people promise to deliver their final views last November.

Did they?

Are there more hearings?

When will we see the results?

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SelectCommitteeRoom

PROSTATE INQUIRY: One of Parliament's select committee rooms.

PROSTABLOG NZ: Mary and John -whose prostate cancer story appears on this website – will get their 15 minutes of fame tomorrow before the first hearing of the NZ Parliament’s inquiry into the disease.

Except they won’t be appearing before the Health Select Committee – they’ll be linked by teleconference hook-up.

John (real name Brian) is not well enough to fly from Auckland to the Capital city to be heard, so the committee has arranged the phone link from his and Mary’s (real name Kim) home.

They have been allotted a quarter of an hour tomorrow morning to tell the committee of parliamentarians about their struggle with Brian’s advanced cancer.

BarryYoung

BARRY YOUNG

The first day of hearings was originally set down for last Wednesday, but the House took urgency at short notice and everything else was cancelled.

Barry Young president of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of NZ, will be among those presenting submissions tomorrow morning.

It’s not clear at this stage whether PCF board member Mark Von Dadelszen, a Napier lawyer who was originally scheduled to speak tomorrow, will now get a slot.

I will be attending tomorrow to report the event for this blogsite, as well as NZ Doctor magazine.

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JUNE 18: NZ PRESS ASSOCIATION: NZ Parliament’s health select committee has decided to hold an inquiry into prostate cancer, focusing on screening and early treatment. READ MORE>

Announcing the decision, the committee said it would release terms of reference after its next meeting on Wednesday next week (June 24).

Green Party MP Kevin Hague, a member of the committee, disagreed with the decision: “When politicians start making complex medical decisions, it’s dangerous and a recipe for disaster,” he said. “This is not the best way to develop health policy.”

Parliament’s select committees can hold inquiries into anything they want to and the health committee has carried out several in recent years.

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