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Filed under: General — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 12:00 pm Tue 20th March 2007

With all due empathy towards those unfortunate women diagnosed with breast cancer, the process of feminist pressure on Pharmac, the health system, and on (and from) the feminist government keen to promote female interests has been selfish and callous towards men. Pharmac has already recommended a short course of Herceptin therapy for early breast cancer, and the $6 million cost of this to District Health Boards will result in resources being unavailable to treat diseases affecting both genders. However, breast cancer spokeswoman Libby Burgess expresses her gratitude for this contribution from our society by complaining that it is “cheap, unethical and throwing NZ women a few crumbs”. She and feminist lobbyists continue to demand that a long course of this expensive drug be approved, amounting to over $70,000 per breast cancer patient in order to “reduce the chance of breast cancer returning”, in addition to existing, expensive treatments and in addition to the expensive programme to make screening free for women and to encourage them to use screening.

Men continue to die more than women from most of the leading causes of death and they continue to live about five years fewer than women. These facts don’t seem to merit a mention by the feminist state. Men continue to provide the majority of our nation’s economic wealth through their industry and initiative, and in the process they continue to suffer around 100% of workplace deaths and the vast majority of serious workplace injuries and maimings, not to mention the long-term health damage inevitable in many male occupations. Surely they are entitled to a fair share of the health budget? Surely the impact of expensive initiatives for women’s health should consider the impact on men’s death rates? Surely at least we can expect some gratitude from women who disproportionately benefit already from the health budget?

Note that Pharmac seeks feedback from the public concerning this matter by April 12. They are one body I think that would take into account people’s submissions, unlike most parliamentary select committees that are shams to push through predetermined policy. Most of us males are chivalrous and would be reluctant to argue against help for suffering women, but I think it important to remind the health authorities that men are here, are dying and that any new funding exclusive to women’s needs will remove resources for men’s needs.


See Herceptin article


  1. It’s an interesting point you raise Hans.
    One would think that after 100 years of technology and productivity gains, we would all be wealthier and have far more leisure than our great-grandfathers had.
    But instead we’re worked just as hard, live more stressed lives and have far fewer freedoms.

    Where have all the economic gains of 100 years gone?

    You guessed it. The Herceptin case is just one tiny example.

    Comment by Rob Case — Tue 20th March 2007 @ 12:16 pm

  2. You sound like an economist Rob, where have all the gains of the past 100 years gone?

    Comment by Bevan Berg — Tue 20th March 2007 @ 9:33 pm

  3. If I was an economist, I’d have to admit that we are a lot wealthier than 100 years ago. The gains have been spent on better education, better medical care, benefits for unemployment, sickness, accident, single parents, old age. Cheaper consumer goods. The list goes on.

    It’s because I’m not an economist that I look back on my own great-grandfather and wonder how he managed to build and own his own home and raise 11 kids, working only one job and not requiring his wife to be in the paid work-force. He paid for schooling and doctors out of his own pocket, and provided for his own dotage (the word “retirement” wasn’t used – you worked until you couldn’t). He was fairly typical of his generation.

    So how do I reconcile the fact that we are we are now much wealthier than our forbears of 100 years ago, but we can’t afford to live as they did?

    My opinion is that we’ve blown the cash.
    We’re like the guy who has spent every pay-rise of his life buying more and more insurance.

    Comment by Rob Case — Wed 21st March 2007 @ 11:26 am

  4. The real point you should be complaining about (other than changing men’s woeful track record of not looking after themselves and seeking medical attention), is that this country spends far less per capita on cancer drugs than other similar countries. Rather than whine about BCAC and Libby Burgess (who has never asked for money to be diverted from men’s health) you should devote your energy to pressuring our Minister of Health to do something about our near 3rd world spending. Hans’ message is the sort of pathetic victim-paranoia that we could do without! The problem is clear – do something about it and stop criticizing people who are actually devoting their energy for the benefit of others.

    Comment by Marc — Wed 21st March 2007 @ 10:40 pm

  5. Everyone is entitled to their opinions I guess, even when they are expressed rudely, aggressively and unintelligently as done by “Marc”. He seems unable to grasp the simple realities that any money diverted from a limited budget to one cause will not be available for others, and that men’s needs have long been placed second to women’s in health as in nearly every other taxpayer-funded service including government itself. The insistence by Ms Burgess and others that a much longer course of Herceptin be funded is not even based on solid research justifying the efficacy of a longer course. It seems instead to be based on a belief that anything wimmin demand should be their automatic right. To pay for such expectations I suppose $5 million of taxpayers’ money will amount to no more than a few cheap crumbs.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Thu 22nd March 2007 @ 1:49 am

  6. If the Herceptin promoters were out driving trucks, digging roads, serving in shops etc and donating the money they earned to buy Herceptin for cancer sufferers, then yes, they would be working for the benefit of others.

    What they are actually doing though, is petitioning government so that they can take the money right out of the pockets of those who are driving trucks, digging roads etc.

    They are putting their interests ahead of the interests of others.

    I can’t agree that Hans is either negative or whining. He’s identified a clear inequity and he’s taking the trouble to articulate it.

    Comment by Rob Case — Thu 22nd March 2007 @ 11:21 am

  7. Then fix the budget problem, instead of targeting a group that have never targeted the re-routing of funding currently utilised by other patient sector. Your anti-feminist diatribe makes you sound like a cave man. Your comments about efficacy show that you really need to get out and read a little before pronouncing judgement. Perhaps this web site is all you have, I certainly shan’t bother returning.

    If you get NZ drug funding up to Australian levels you’ll being doing everyone a service.

    Comment by Marc — Thu 22nd March 2007 @ 10:05 pm

  8. It’s easy to denigrate someone else’s argument by character assassination. Don’t bother actually debating most of their points but simply call them and their arguments names like cave man and diatribe. Good policy too after throwing such insults to refuse to return to read any response or to participate in real debate. I would challenge “Marc” to provide references for the research (s)he claims exists justifying a long course of Herceptin rater than a shorter course. However, (s)he makes it clear that (s)he just wants to use verbal violence but not to back up claims with evidence or reasonable argument.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Mon 26th March 2007 @ 10:30 am

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