Labour pledges to reverse the Government’s health budget cuts so we can provide broadened access to HIV medicines.
The Government has cut $1.7 billion from the health budget since 2010 and, as always, it’s the most vulnerable in our society who are bearing the brunt of it.
Last year, the New Zealand AIDS Foundation had to borrow $500,000 to help fund the vital services they provide, and are facing unspecified operational cuts to stem the flow of red ink. This is because of a funding freeze that began in 2010 and continues to this day.
This year the Auckland District Health Board is considering a 20% drop in the availability of specialist staff for its regional sexual health clinics; clinics that look after MSM, transgender people and people living with HIV.
Then there’s the Government’s refusal to fund the GAPSS/GOSS survey since 2014. These are vital pieces of information that provide guidance to health agencies in their work to prevent the transmission of HIV.
Finally, the Government will not give Pharmac the funding it needs to provide broadened access to HIV medicines; medicines that will eliminate HIV in New Zealand by 2025.
It’s clear, from this, that the Government doesn’t see the health care needs of the LGBTI communities as a priority.
The Labour Party is pledging to roll back National’s $1.7 billion in cuts to the health budget. For the LGBTI communities, this started with leader Andrew Little’s promise at this year’s Big Gay Out to fund the medicines needed to eliminate HIV in New Zealand by 2025.
Labour is founded on the values of equality, fairness and justice for kiwis and broadened access delivers on all three for rainbow New Zealanders, so it only makes sense that we are the ones to pick up the phone.